Libyan liberation 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Celebrating the end of the Gaddafi era in Libya.
Thousands gather in the eastern city of Benghazi as Libya's new leaders officially declare liberation after four decades of Muammar Gaddafi's rule.
Benghazi is the birthplace of the Libyan uprising.
The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, pays tribute to all those who had lost their lives during the country's eight-month conflict.
"All the martyrs, military and civilian, were waiting for this moment to take part in this joy. But now, they are in the best place, in paradise," said Jalil.
In the capitol city of Tripoli bands mark the occasion.
Crowds gather as a member of the National Transitional council announces that Libya is free.
The crowd erupts in a song of celebration.
In Misrata some watch the announcement on Television.
The celebrations go into the night and the hopes stretch into the future.
"I want them to build a state which has health care services, education-
everything that other countries have because we really have nothing," Khadija Abdullah said.
It was fighters from Misrata who emerged from a lengthy and bloody siege
to play a large part in taking Tripoli and later caught Gaddafi.
With the fighting now over celebrations are expected to continue ahead of the rebuilding of a new country and new government.