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Libya declared free

Libya's new leaders - former rebel fighters and now NTC members - declared the country to be free from the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi on Sunday .

Thousands gathered in the city of Benghazi to hear the announcement of liberation.

National Transitional Council officials and spectators chanted "raise your head high, you are a free Libyan!"

Celebrations are said to be continuing well into the night.

National Transitional Council (NTC) chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said,

"Today we are one flesh, one national flesh. We have become united brothers as we have not been in the past,"

"I call on everyone for forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation,"

"We must get rid of hatred and envy from our souls. This is a necessary matter for the success of the revolution and the success of the future Libya."

"the martyrs, the civilians and the army had waited for this moment. But now they are in the best of places ... eternal heaven."

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called the rebels' victory "historic" as leaders around the world hail Libya's new era.

See  here and UPFA's sorrow at Gaddafi's demise, for the Sri Lankan state's reactions.

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