As celebratory gunfire rang out, there were reports that the compound armoury was being looted. A rebel supporter was seen kicking around a broken sculpture of Gaddafi.
A local Tripoli radio station reported Gaddafi as saying that his withdrawal from his headquarters was a "tactical move after the compound was levelled by 64 NATO air strikes".
What was put out by the radio station was also reported by Al-Orouba TV broadcasting in conjunction with Al-Rai TV. The report said Gaddafi vowed "martyrdom" or victory in his fight against NATO. Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for Gaddafi, later said the Libyan leader was ready to resist rebels for months, or even years, and vowed to turn Libya into "volcanoes, lava and fire".
Speaking by telephone to Al-Orouba and al-Rai, Ibrahim said that Gaddafi's forces had captured four "high ranking" Qataris and one United Arab Emirates national, and said that rebel leaders would not enjoy peace if they moved to Tripoli from the eastern city of Benghazi.
Victory in sight: Rebel fighters celebrate near a partially obscured golf buggy belonging to Gaddafi inside the leader's compound
A rebel fighter picks a slightly odd place to keep a couple of bullets as he smiles in the renamed Martyr's Square in central Tripoli
Celebration: A large group of people gathered in Martyr's Square, formerly named Green Square, to mark the fall of Gaddafi's compound last night
Smoke billows in the sky in the distance from Gaddafi's compound as a group of rebels drive past in a pick-up truck
Fire! A rebel launches a round from his gun towards Gaddafi's compound