A gruesome video that claims to show Muammar Gaddafi's corpse being abused by rebels has emerged online. In the disturbing clip posted to YouTube on Monday, jubilant rebel fighters appear to use Gaddafi's body as a ventriloquist doll.
WARNING: The YouTube video contains extremely graphic content. The footage has not been independently verified.
According to The Huffington Post, the video was discovered after a Syrian activist tweeted a link to it with the intention of using it as a warning to Syria's President Bashar Al Assad.
The authenticity of the one-minute-long clip has not been independently confirmed, but it appears it was filmed on October 20, 2011, the day rebel troops captured and killed Gaddafi.
The video shows a crowd of rowdy jubilant men, shouting and cheering, and a van carrying what looks like the half-naked and bloodied corpse of the former Libyan dictator.
The video shows a man holding the head of the apparently lifeless body and moving it while speaking in a mocking tone in Arabic. Several people film the scene with their cellphones as the body is taken out of the van and placed on a stretcher.
The Daily Mail reports that a Syrian anti-government protester, Sami Al Hamwi, commenting on the video on Twitter, said: "Someone needs to send this to Assad."
While questions have been asked why the video is being released now, it is noted that it comes less then two weeks after Libya's first democratic elections.
Protests against Gaddafi's rule began in February 2011 and escalated into a civil war that led to NATO intervention. National Liberation Army troops killed Gaddafi in October 2011 after he was captured alive in Sirte.
After the fall of his government, rebel forces set up the National Transition Council (NTC).