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Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Libya celebrates 40 years of Gaddafi Dictatorship

Libyans are set to begin six-days of celebrations marking 40 years since Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, came to power in a bloodless coup.

Organisers expect hundreds of thousands of people will attend a three-hour showcase event in Tripoli on Tuesday night that they said will rival an Olympic opening ceremony.

Organisers say the celebrations are designed to let the world know that what had before been a pariah-state for the West is once again open for business.

"Libya is opening up to the world - that is the basic message," said Philippe Skaff, who heads the team co-ordinating the centrepiece celebration event.

"This is the first time they actually received thousands of foreigners with open arms. They are granting visas for this like they've never done before," he said.

The celebrations will include military bands, 400 dancers depicting scenes from Libya's history, aerobatic aeroplanes and fireworks displays. More