Networks Hedge Gadhafi Coverage as Rebels Take Credit for Killing Him

Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg/Getty Images

UPDATED: As conflicting news of the Libyan leader’s demise hit the web (including graphic photos), Anderson Cooper is among the journalists who warn, “Rumors quickly spread and get repeated as facts.”

Libyan rebels took credit Thursday for capturing and killing Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Later Thursday, Libya's prime minster confirmed he had been killed.

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Before the confirmation, multiple spelling's of Gadhafi's name instantly became Twitter trending topics as people speculated whether the controversial leader had been shot to death.

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A graphic photo was also posted that purported to show the Libyan leader with gunshots to the head. CNN also posted what they say is video of his capture.

CNN's Anderson Cooper hedged his reports online, warning on Twitter, "Conflicting unconfirmed reports on #Gadhafi's condition and status. Rumors quickly spread and get repeated as facts. Best to wait and see."

"#libya fighters say #Gadhafi has been captured. But this is unconfirmed, and they've made false claims in past," Cooper added.

Most other outlets also wrote about Gadhafi, but made sure to indicate the news had not yet been confirmed.

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GlobalGrind Global Grind
Speaking to Al Jazeera, NTC military chief Bel Haj confirms that #Gadhafi has been killed.

P The Associated Press
NATO confirms it hit a convoy of Moammar Gadhafi loyalists fleeing Sirte as the city fell today: -EC #Libya

poniewozik James Poniewozik [Time Magzine]
Reports: Qaddafi dead, Gadhafi wounded, Khadafi arrested, whereabouts of Gaddaffi and Qadafy unknown.

WSJ Wall Street Journal
Breaking: Misrata Military Council, which claimed to have captured Moammar Gadhafi today, says he has died in custody.

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NBCLA NBC Los Angeles
BREAKING NEWS.. Unconfirmed reports .. Gadhafi is captured and may be

ktla ktla
#BREAKING NEWS: NTC Official says #Gaddafi has died of his wounds #libya #gadhafi

CNNLive CNN Live
Unconfirmed reports former Libyan leader #Gadhafi has been captured. Watch Libya's Al Ahrar network live:

AP The Associated Press
RAW VIDEO: Libya fighters fire guns in the air as they celebrate getting full control of Gadhafi hometown: -EC
1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Viewers took issue with the conflicting reports, with one named shawneemon Tweeting, "The reporter on CNN said the they "think" they have 100% confirmation that Gadhafi is dead. Something is very wrong with that statement."