Washington: US President Barack Obama has described former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's death as a "strong message to dictators" around the world, a media report said on Wednesday.

Obama said on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" that Gaddafi missed his chance to bring democracy to his country.

"This is somebody who, for 40 years, has terrorised his country and supported terrorism. He had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy. We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn't do it," Obama was quoted as saying.

Gaddafi was captured and killed near his hometown of Sirte. His son Mutassim was also killed. The two were buried in a secret desert location on Tuesday.

There has been an international call for a probe into Gaddafi's death after he appeared to be beaten by his captors and then shot in the head.

"Obviously, you never like to see anybody come to the kind of end that he did, but I think it obviously sends a strong message around the world to dictators that ... people long to be free," Obama said.