David Cameron has delivered a stark warning that problems in Libya are far from over after Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year grip on power was finally broken.
Amid bloody clashes as rebels laid siege to the dictator's heavily fortified compound in Tripoli, the Prime Minister said people should be "proud" of Britain's role in the uprising.
But he stressed there was no room for "complacency" and more international help would be needed to ensure the country made a smooth change to democracy.
In scenes of high drama, rebel fighters met relatively light resistance as they poured into the capital. However, significant casualties were reported as Gaddafi's forces stage a bloody last stand at his official residence.
There are also fears of revenge attacks on civilians both within Libya and outside.
The US has said it does not believe the dictator has left the country, and several of his sons - including heir-apparent Saif al-Islam - have been captured.
The head of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, warned that victory was not yet complete.
But he added: "The youth of Libya have written an epic heroic battle."
Politicians around the world have welcomed the abrupt collapse of the regime, with President Barack Obama hailing proof that the "universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator".
Oil prices fell and stock markets rose amid hopes that the destabilising conflict could be nearing an end.