One of the young Libyan rebels credited with capturing Moammar Gadhafi nearly a year ago died yesterday after being kidnapped, beaten, and shot by the late dictator's supporters. The death of Omran Shaaban, who had been hospitalized in France, raised the prospect of even more violence and score-settling, with the newly elected National Congress authorizing police and the army to use force if necessary to apprehend those who abducted the 22-year-old and three companions in July near the town of Bani Walid.
The Libyan government said it would honor Shaaban with a funeral befitting a hero. His body was greeted at the airport in his hometown of Misrata by more than 10,000 people for a procession to a soccer stadium for funeral prayers. Libya is battling lingering pockets of support for the old regime, and its government has been unable to rein in armed militias in a country rife with weapons. (It's not clear whether Shaaban was the captor who inflicted a particularly nasty form of revenge on Gadhafi.)