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October 23, 2011

Libyan NTC Leader: New Government in 2 Weeks

Libya's transitional leader says decisions for a new interim government should be in place in about two weeks.

National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil's announcement in the eastern city of Benghazi Monday comes a day after he declared the country liberated from Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule at a ceremony attended by tens of thousands of people.

Libya's outgoing provisional prime minister Mahmoud Jibril had previously said Sunday that consultations were under way to form a new interim government within one month.

Jalil also announced Monday that the NTC has ordered an investigation into Gadhafi's death after the United States, rights groups and others called for the probe.

Libyan doctors performed an autopsy on Gadhafi's body in the city of Misrata Sunday and said he died of gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen during last week's takeover of Sirte. Cell phone video shows provisional government fighters taunting and beating a wounded Gadhafi shortly before he died.

Libyan officials say the former leader was shot in crossfire between his loyalists and provisional government forces. Fighters on the scene have acknowledged beating the ousted leader after his capture.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. would like to see a U.N. investigation of Gadhafi's killing. She said she supports the investigation that the NTC has pledged to conduct, and said it is important for a democratic Libya to begin with the rule of law and accountability.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Gadhafi's killing had "stained" the image of Libya's provisional government, and that Britain would have liked to have seen the former leader stand trial for alleged misdeeds.

Gadhafi's body remained on public display in a commercial freezer in Misrata Sunday. Details of his burial have not been disclosed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.