Gaddafi Women Bodyguards: Photos Of The Amazonian Guard
The former Libyan dictator's capture and death on Thursday was perhaps as ugly as his life was glamorous.
When it was revealed that Gaddafi was pulled from a sewage pipe (months after calling the Libyan people 'rats' when they rose up against him), it was a far fall from grace for the leader. To add insult to injury, it was later revealed that the deposed dictator died wearing a hairpiece.
In Muammar Gaddafi's younger days, he had a reputation for glamour. Most notably, the proclaimed "king of kings" showed up on diplomatic missions accompanied by a cadre of female bodyguards.
The Amazonian Guard, as Gaddafi's elite, all-female task force came to be known, comprised of women who were reportedly hand-selected by the Libyan leader and sworn virgins. Donning lipstick, heels, and jewelry in a country where many women wear veils in public, the contingency certainly turned heads. The women reportedly underwent "extensive martial arts and firearms training at a special academy" before they were officially inducted in the Guard, and their skills included flying fighter jets and hand-to-hand combat.
However, the Hollywood-esque brigade may have had a darker side. After Gaddafi went into hiding, a few of his former bodyguards reportedly came forward with rape allegations. In August, Seham Sergewa, a psychologist based in Benghazi who spoke with former members of the Amazonian Guard, told the Times of Malta: "Women came forward saying they had been raped by as many as 20 soldiers, sometimes in front of their husbands and children. In one case, a girl, around 18 or so, said she was raped in front of her father."
Below, see if you can spot the women of the Amazonian Guard accompanying Gaddafi:
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (R) and former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (L) arrive for a group picture ahead of the opening session of the Arab League extraordinary Summit in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, on October 9, 2010. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, escorted by female bodyguards, arrives at the Ciampino airport on August 29, 2010, in Rome, Italy. (Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with his suite, reviews an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential office in Kiev on November 4, 2008. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (L), escorted by a female bodyguard (R), lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow on November 1, 2008. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's female bodyguards are seen while Gaddafi, unseen, visits the Louvre museum, during his controversial six-day visit in France, 13 December 2007 in Paris. (THIBAULT CAMUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Female Libyan soldiers, members of the Revolutionary Guards, stand on guard September 7, 1999, in a military parade in Tripoli to mark the 30th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution that brought Muammar Gaddafi to power. (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is flanked by his female bodyguard (L) as he arrives for lunch with other African and European leaders at the EU-African summit in Cairo, April 4, 2000. Gaddafi's personal guard, who declined to give her name, told AFP she is 'very proud' to be the only female armed escort for any of the 60-odd leaders at the summit. She has served as Gaddafi's personal bodyguard for 10 years. (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan female bodyguards of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi walk away from the entrance of the summit after a scuffle broke out between them and Egyptian security. Arab leaders are holding a summit in the Egyptian resort in order to come up with a unified response to the Iraqi crisis. (Norbert Schiller/Getty Images)