Libyans celebrate free vote despite violence | Otmane El Rhazi

Libyans are celebrating their first free national election in 60 years after defying violence to turn out for a poll widely seen as drawing a line under Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship.

Revellers lit the night sky over the capital, Tripoli, with fireworks, while in the eastern city of Benghazi, scene of anti-poll protests by those wanting more autonomy, people celebrated by firing rocket-propelled grenades in the direction of the sea.

Even in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, which saw some of the worst fighting and damage in last year’s NATO-backed uprising to end his 42-year rule, there was relief that the vote on Saturday had gone smoothly.

“Allahu akbar (God is greatest), this is the freedom era – for the first time Sirte is free,” chanted a local woman as she celebrated with her family.

via Libyans celebrate free vote despite violence | Otmane EL RHAZI.

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