Libya has started a week of massive celebrations to mark the coup, 40 years ago, that brought Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to power.

Jets flew over Tripoli, ahead of a military parade featuring soldiers from many African countries, the BBC reported. Hundreds of dancers and musicians showcased Libya’s history, followed by a huge fireworks display. Several African and Arab leaders are attending the celebrations, but Western leaders have decided to stay away.

Libya, now working to shed it pariah image among Western nations, recently found itself back in the news when a Scottish court released Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan jailed for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people.

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