Nightly News   |  October 21, 2011

Libya euphoric as Gadhafi’s body lies in freezer

Hundreds of Libyans, mostly men, rushed to a former shopping mall in Misrata to view the corpse of the man they'd feared for decades. NBC’s Adrienne Mong reports on the aftermath of Moammar Gadhafi’s death.

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KATE SNOW, anchor: It was just 24 hours ago we were focused on Libya on this broadcast and the death of Moammar Gadhafi . Tonight, celebrations and questions about what happens now. NBC 's Adrienne Mong is in Misrata again tonight. Adrienne :

ADRIENNE MONG reporting: Good evening, Kate . Well, as you can see and most definitely hear behind me, people here on Freedom Square in Misrata celebrating day one of a post Gadhafi Libya . It was also another day of remarkable scenes here with the Libyan people viewing the body of the former dictator. Hundreds of Libyans, mostly men, rushed to a former shopping mall in Misrata to view the corpse of the man they'd feared for decades. Why did you come here?

Unidentified Man #1: To see this man, this very bad man.

MONG: Rebel forces had laid his badly wounded body on the floor of a commercial freezer; and, as we saw firsthand, they kept the crowd moving. Questions remain about exactly how he died shortly after he was captured, wounded but alive. Today the interim government's prime minister came to Misrata to see the body for himself and declared that an autopsy had been completed.

Mr. MAHMOUD JIBRIL (Interim Prime Minister): Today the fight is going to be

simply to......you know.

MONG: And officials now say Gadhafi 's burial, originally planned for today, in keeping with Islamic custom, would be delayed. NATO, which launched the airstrike that stopped Gadhafi 's convoy in its tracks yesterday said today it's ending its operations in Libya .

Mr. ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN (NATO Secretary General): We have taken a preliminary decision to end Operation Unify Protector on the 31st of October.

MONG: In the streets of Misrata , another remarkable sight, thousands of women turned out. And there was celebration in Tripoli , Libya 's capital, no longer in the shadow of a tyrant.

Unidentified Man #2: It's there, the finish is good. It's very nice.

Unidentified Woman: Actually, finally! Finally we get the freedom. Do you know that? Do you that feeling that you can say everything that you wanted.

MONG: Along with the euphoria, there's growing reflection here as Libyans now contemplate a future many thought they'd never see. Formal declaration of Libya being liberated is now scheduled for Sunday, Kate , in Benghazi . And as one man here told us,