DUBAI - For many Arabs, the humiliating capture and killing of Muammar Gaddafi, the longest-serving Arab leader, is a lesson to other tyrants in a region that has overthrown three long-serving rulers this year.
But some said on Friday that Libya would have been better off if its former leader had been given a fair trial for abuses committed during his 42-year rule, which ended when rebels captured the capital Tripoli in August. "The world now has one less dictator," said Ziad Khalil, a Beirut shopkeeper, a day after Gaddafi's death. "This is the end he deserves".
In Cairo, Youssef Hammad, a 43-year-old business executive, said he was not surprised by Gaddafi's gruesome demise. "The way he was going to die, if caught, was sealed when he ignored his people's calls for a more open and free society," Hammad said. "Instead he vowed to hunt them down one by one, alleyway by alleyway, like rats. Ironically that's how he met his maker."
Gaddafi, a fugitive since August, was killed on Thursday after fighters for the National Transitional Council captured his last stronghold and hometown of Sirte.