Former Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi died of a gunshot wound to the head, the chief pathologist said after doctors completed the autopsy yesterday.

Othman el-Zentani did not disclose additional findings, such as whether Gaddafi suffered the wound in crossfire or at close-range.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was killed on Thursday by National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters near his hometown of Sirte. Zentani said the report would now go to the attorney general's office before being released to the public.

He also informed that doctors performed the autopsy at a Misrata hospital in the presence of officials from the prosecutor's office.

But no foreign or independent officials were present, he added. Autopsies were also conducted on the bodies of Gaddafi's son, Mutassim, and his former defence minister, Abu Baker Yunis.

The three bodies would likely return to a cold storage at a Misrata meat market for public viewing, Zentani stated.