Candy floss and bouncy castles mark Gaddafi's death

Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:15pm EDT
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By Barry Malone

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Mohammed was pretty sure he had the best joke of the night in Martyr's Square as Tripolitanians partied in a carnival-like atmosphere into the small hours of Friday morning.

"I have a new ambition, maybe," the 20-year-old said. "I want to run for president."

The guffawing of his friends proved him right as they shouted out that it might be possible now.

"We want elections, we want democracy, we want a better economy," Mohammed's friend, Tarek, also 20 years-old, said.

"Now that Gaddafi is gone we can say and do whatever we want to. Can you hear me speaking to you?"

The people who surged into the streets of Libya's towns and cities to cheer the demise of Muammar Gaddafi and who celebrated in the renamed Martyr's Square in central Tripoli, exercised that freedom with some gusto.

Posters featuring Gaddafi's dead body were made up and being enthusiastically waved around the streets within an hour of the photos appearing online. One man in Martyr's Square had mocked up several images of Gaddafi dressed as a woman, causing much amusement and raising of camera phones.

If anyone was sorry that Gaddafi had been killed or was worried that jostling among factions in the interim government could keep the country's stability off balance and threaten a promised roadmap to elections, central Tripoli last night was not the place to say it.   Continued...