By Tom Westcott and Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 17 September 2013:
The centre of Tripoli was last night filled with people gathered to celebrate . . .[restrict]Martyrs’ Day.
New young military recruits led an impressive march around the square, as a helicopter flew low overhead. The march was followed by speeches paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for a free Libya and reminding those present that their memories should always be honoured.
Yesterday’s date marked the anniversary of the execution, in 1931, of Omar Mukhtar, who led the Senussi forces against the Italians. Since the 17 February Revolution, 16 September has also become the day when all Libyan martyrs are commemorated.
The square was closed to traffic and all nearby roads heavily guarded by military personnel. However, there was no evidence of anyone wishing to disrupt the celebrations.