Tripoli, Oct 25: Slain Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi was unceremoniously buried at dawn on Tuesday in an unmarked desert grave, witnessed by only two members of Libya's National Transitional Council, who were sworn never to reveal his secret resting place.
As the despot was buried with his son, Mutassim, reports claimed that his favourite son, Saif, was making a desperate bid for the Niger border, reports Daily Mail.
Final Muslim prayers were said over the bodies by Khaled Tantoush, Gaddafi's personal cleric, who was arrested with him.
The rites were also attended by two of Gaddafi's cousins, Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, once leader of the feared People's Guard, and Ahmed Ibrahim.
All were captured with Gaddafi after their convoy was attacked by Nato war planes as they tried to flee Sirte, Gaddafi's home town, just after it had fallen.
Abdel Majid Mlegta, an NTC spokesman, said: ‘The NTC officials were handed the body after the sheikh completed the early morning ceremony and are taking him somewhere very far away into the desert.'
‘Only two trusted people were assigned to this secret mission,' he added. ‘These are not guards, but very trusted NTC people.'
The funeral closed the book on Gaddafi's 42-year rule and the eight-month civil war to remove him, but did not silence international calls for an investigation into his brutal end.
Videos circulated online in the days following the former Libyan leader's killing at the hands of revolutionary soldiers show them taunting and beating him before his execution.
Graphic footage showed how Gaddafi was dragged, wounded and bleeding, from the storm drain in which he had been hiding as rebel fighters rained blows down on him, pulled him by his hair and kicked dust into his face.
Globalpost.com claims that one particularly shocking piece of footage shows that in a final moment of humiliation one of the soldiers sodomised the fallen despot with a stick or knife as he was being dragged to his death.
A frame-by-frame analysis of the film, which is too graphic for MailOnline to publish, seems to show a grey-clad fighter bending over behind Gaddafi and shoving an object, either a steel rod or the bayonet from a gun, into his anus.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Tuareg official in Niger has said that Gaddafi's favoured son and heir Saif al-Islam is making his way toward the the West African country.
Saif appears to be taking the same route his brother al-Saadi used in September to flee Libya.
Rissa ag Boula is a former Tuareg rebel leader who is now a member of the regional municipal council in Agadez.
He said Saif is being escorted by ethnic Tuaregs, who were among Gaddafi's strongest supporters.
Niger's government has said that members of the Gaddafi regime seeking refuge will not be turned back to Libya without guarantees for their safety.
The news of Saif's bid to escape comes after he sent a defiant message to the revolutionary forces and vowed to exact revenge for his father's death.
Libya's interim government had claimed he was captured this weekend, but at the same time the 39-year-old appeared on Syrian television.
He said: ‘We continue our resistance. I'm in Libya, alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge.
‘I say go to hell, you rats and NATO behind you.
‘This is our country, we live in it, and we die in it and we are continuing the struggle.'
‘We continue our resistance. I'm in Libya, alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge'
It was unclear if it was broadcast live or was a recording.
Saadi, who fled the country in September, has publicly lashed out at the death of his father and brother.
Under house arrest in Niger, he said: ‘These barbaric executions and the grotesque abuse of the corpses make it clear that no person affiliated with the former regime will receive a fair trial in Libya.'
The bodies of Gaddafi, Mutassim and former Defence Minster Abu Bakr Younis were all removed overnight from the commercial freezer in Misrata where they had been on display for four days.
Local military spokesman Ibrahim Beitalmal had earlier said the burial was likely to take place today.
The three men were to be buried in unmarked graves to avoid vandalism or the site becoming a shrine.
Asked about the removal of the bodies from the freezer, Mr Beitalmal said he was unaware of the process of burial getting under way.
However Salem al-Mohandes, a security guard at the warehouse complex, said the bodies were taken away late on Monday evening.
Mr al-Mohandes said: ‘Our job is finished. Gaddafi was transferred and the military council of Misrata took him away to an unknown location.
‘I don't know whether they buried him or not.'
The Associated Press reported seeing three vehicles leave the warehouse area late on Monday. On entering the freezer, it was found to be empty.
Rebels had put Gaddafi's bloodied and battered body on show in the cold store while they argued over what to do with it after the fallen dictator was shot dead last Thursday.
Dressed only in a pair of khaki trousers, the body became something of a morbid tourist attraction, with hundreds of Libyans queuing up to see it and pose for photographs.