MISRATA, Libya (AP) - Moammar Gadhafi's blood-streaked body was on display in a commercial freezer at a shopping center Friday as Libyan authorities argued about what to do with his remains and questions deepened over official accounts of the longtime dictator's death. New video emerged of his violent, chaotic last moments, showing fighters beating him as they drag him away.
Nearly every aspect of Thursday's killing of Gadhafi was mired in confusion, a sign of the difficulties ahead for Libya. Its new rulers are disorganized, its people embittered and divided. But the ruling National Transitional Council said it would declare the country's liberation on Saturday, the starting point for a timetable that calls for a new interim government within a month and elections within eight months.
The top U.N. rights chief raised concerns that Gadhafi may have been shot to death after being captured alive. The fate of his body seemed tied up in squabbles among Libya's factions, as fighters from Misrata - a city brutally besieged by Gadhafi's forces during the civil war - seemed to claim ownership of it, forcing the delay of a planned burial Friday.
Also muddled was the fate of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the only Gadhafi son who stayed in Libya and reportedly survived after his father's Aug. 21 ouster. It appeared Friday that he was still at large: some government ministers had said he was wounded and in custody in a hospital in the city of Zlitan, but a military official at the hospital, Hakim al-Kisher, denied he was there.
In Misrata, residents crowded into long lines to get a chance to view the body of Gadhafi, which was laid out on a mattress on the floor of an emptied-out vegetable and onions freezer at a local shopping center. The body had apparently been stowed in the freezer in an attempt to keep it out of the public eye, but once the location was known, that intention was swept away in the overwhelming desire of residents to see the man they so deeply despised.
Men, women and children filed in to take their picture with the body. The site's guards had even organized separate visiting hours for families and single men.
"We want to see the dog," some chanted.
Gadhafi's 69-year-old body was stripped to the waist, his torso and arms streaked with dried blood. Bullet wounds in the chest, abdomen and left side of the head were visible.
The bloody siege of Misrata over the summer instilled a particularly virulent hatred of Gadhafi there - a hatred now mixed with pride because he was captured and killed by fighters from the city.
New video posted on Facebook showed revolutionary fighters dragging a confused-looking Gadhafi up the hill to their vehicles after his capture and less than an hour before he was killed. The young men scream "Moammar, you dog!" as their former leader wipes at blood covering the left side of his head, neck and left shoulder.
Gadhafi gestures to the young men to be patient, and says "What's going on?" as he wipes fresh blood from his temple and glances at his palm. A young fighter later is shown carrying a boot and screaming, "This is Moammar's shoe! This is Moammar's shoe! Victory! Victory!"
In Tripoli, joy over Gadhafi's end spilled into a second day as thousands converged on central Martyrs' Square for Friday prayers and celebrations. Men danced and hoisted the country's new red-green-and-black flag.
"It's the start of a new era that everybody hopes will bring security and freedom," said Tarek Othman, a computer specialist. "I hope democracy is the path we take so all of these Libyans who have sacrificed will really feel free."
He stood with his wife - who wore a cap in the revolution's colors over her all-encompassing black niqab - in the square, which was formerly known as Green Square and was used by Gadhafi to stage rallies against the uprising.
Khaled Almslaty, a clothing vendor, said he wished Gadhafi had been captured alive.
"But I believe he got what he deserved because if we prosecuted him for the smallest of his crimes, he would be punished by death," he said. "Now we hope the NTC will accelerate the formation of a new government and ... won't waste time on irrelevant conflicts and competing for authority and positions."
It's a tall order after nearly 42 years of rule by one man, who often acted according to whims and tolerated no dissent. Libya's new leaders have stressed the need for reconciliation, but many factions are eager to have their say after years of repression.
The Western-backed NTC, a collection of former rebels, returned exiles, technocrats and Islamists, has always been united behind its goal of ousting Gadhafi. Now the group must overcome divisions and competing self-interests to rebuild the oil-rich North African nation, which was stripped of institutions under Gadhafi.
The NTC said interim leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will formally declare liberation on Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolution began in mid-February. Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has promised to resign, saying he will not be part of any new government and will instead turn his attention to fighting corruption.
The transitional council has asked the United Nations "to play a significant role" in helping them write a constitution, hold elections and build democratic institutions, Ian Martin, the U.N. envoy to Libya, said.
"No one should underestimate in this moment of celebration in Libya how great are the challenges that lie ahead," he said. He also warned of "a major challenge in the future of those of the fighters who don't wish to return to previous civilian occupations."
Gadhafi was killed when revolutionary fighters overwhelmed him and the last of his loyalists in his coastal hometown Sirte, the last bastion of his regime to be captured after weeks of heavy fighting.
Authorities have promised to bury Gadhafi in accordance with Islamic traditions calling for quick interment, but Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said the burial was delayed because officials were debating "what the best place is to bury him."
Gadhafi's family, most of whom are in Algeria or other nearby African nations, issued a statement calling for an investigation into how Gadhafi and another of his sons, Muatassim, were killed. In the statement on the pro-Gadhafi, Syria-based TV station Al-Rai, they asked for international pressure on the NTC to hand over the bodies of the two men to their tribe.