Libyans were indulging themselves in jubilation in a way that the country might not have seen for over 40 years, after the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) confirmed that fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed on Thursday in his hometown Sirte.
|Libyan capital rejoicing after Gaddafi's death. [Xinhua]|
People in the capital city, either on foot or in cars, were taking to the main streets in high spirits, with ceaseless celebratory shots by machine guns as the backdrop music.
While shouting "Allah is the greatest!", "Gaddafi is gone!" or "Libya is free," almost everyone, young and old, were hugging and clapping hands with each other. Many were waving the tricolor NTC flags, in all sizes, along the street leading to the landmark Martyr's Square on the city's coastline of the Mediterranean.
The place, previously called the Green Square during Gaddafi's rule and where he used to address his supporters, became a sea of happiness and sweetness, where some people were voluntarily sending out candies to the passersby.
A young local resident, who identified himself as Buraq, told Xinhua reporters at the square that he could think of no words other than "happy" to describe his feeling, after hearing about the death of Gaddafi on TV.
Buraq said he and his friends may celebrate with the city deep into the night, adding that "Libya is going to be a better and entirely different place without Gaddafi."
Meanwhile, a young lady, whose first name is Fatimah, was singing finger-popping patriotic songs joyfully in the backseat of her friend's car, which could hardly move near the Martyr's Square due to the hundreds of sirening vehicles.
"This is a long-awaited moment for me and the whole of the Libyans," Fatimah said, showing a "V" sign as well as her charming smile to a Xinhua photographer. "This is a new page," she said.
A friend of hers in the car, who was holding a newly-printed picture featuring the moment of Gaddafi's capture, said that Libya is now totally free after a prolonged fight which involved people across the country.
"We are prepared to welcome people from all over the world to have a look at the new country," said Fatimah's friend, who had a NTC flag mantling her back.
In sharp contrast with the festivity at scene was a silent old man -- probably in his sixties, who held a picture of a young man and stood between the lines of cars in a street west of the Martyr 's Square.
"It is almost certain that the person on the picture is the fallen son of the old man," a Xinhua reporter said.
Against the bustle, the old man offered only a mild smile. But the moist rims of his eyes definitely tell more about the suffering of the country and its people in the past eight months.