Original Independence Day in Libya is Back After 42 Years

By: AP
By: AP

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Libyans today are celebrating the 60th
anniversary of the country's independence from Italy and France.

But it isn't the 60th time they've celebrated the anniversary.
During Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule, the celebration was
scrapped.

The only anniversary that was marked was the date of his coup in 1969.

Now that Gadhafi is gone, Libyans are again marking the old
holiday. The country's new prime minister said, "Today we begin
the building of Libya as our forefathers have done."

Thousands of people flocked to the capital, Tripoli, from around
the country today, hoping to break bread on a 7-mile-long set of
tables that were planned along Tripoli's coast. But the dinner was
canceled because of security reasons, and what officials said was
infighting among former rebel groups who were invited.

On the sidelines of today's ceremony, the prime minister said
the country's economy minister has resigned due to health reasons.

There had been protests demanding that officials of the former
regime be barred from serving in government. And the economy
minister had been appointed to the same post by Gadhafi just two
months before Gadhafi was captured and killed.


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