Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki welcomed the news of Muammar Gaddafi's death on Thursday, arguing his demise and that of Saddam Hussein were "proof of the potential of the people."
   
"We congratulate our Libyan brothers and the (National) Transitional Council on the occasion of getting rid of the tyrant Gaddafi, who ran Libya for four decades filled with oppression," Maliki's office said in a statement.
     
"The similarity of the fate of tyrants in Iraq and Libya and elsewhere is proof of the potential of the people to defeat dictators, however long they have been in power.”
      
"They (the people of Libya) can take control and create their present and their future.”
   
"We hope that the end of Gaddafi represents a new stage of stability and prosperity and democracy in Libya, and we call for the Libyan people on this occasion to maintain unity
and social cohesion to reconstruct a new Libya."
      
An NTC spokesman said Gaddafi was killed as new regime forces overran the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte.
      
Despite Saddam's overthrow in the US-led invasion of 2003 and his execution three years later for crimes against humanity, Iraq remains a struggling democracy and one of the world's most violent countries.

(Agencies)