FIREWORKS were lit, flags waved and songs of freedom sung, as hundreds of Libyans celebrated a “brighter future” in St George’s Square.
Residents from the town, Dewsbury and Bradford joined Huddersfield University’s Libyan Society to commemorate the end of Colonel Gaddafi’s regime.
Abdul Turki, of Berry Brow, helped organise the event, and said: “I was so surprised to see so many people turn out for the celebrations.
“Looking at all the faces, everybody was just so happy, it was unbelievable.
“We sang songs, handed sweets out to people passing by and finished off the celebrations with some fireworks.
“It was after the announcement in Benghazi of our independence from the dictatorship.
“Everybody is now looking forward to a new future, a new elected government and living in a democracy, like the UK.
“It has been a horrible war and a lot of people have been killed.
“We managed to finish him off however before he finished off the Libyan people.
“This war was forced on us and we never wanted it, we are now looking forward to peace in Libya.”
Mechanical Engineer Mr Turki moved to England in 1975 and has lived here ever since with his wife Nourelhoda, and three sons Arif, 13, Majidi, 11, and Muhammad, 8.
He is originally from Tripoli and his family still live there.
He said: “I have spoken to my family and they have been enjoying celebrations too.
“My mum and dad, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties all still live there, it was just me who decided to move. I could not have gone back when Gaddafi was in power but now I will be considering returning to Libya and I will explore the options available to me and my family.”
He said although people may have disagreed with him, he was glad to see the images of Gaddafi across the news due to the suffering the dictator had caused.
Chemical engineer Magdi Omer, 32, had come from Halifax to join in the celebrations.
Having been part of the Libyan Society during his time at Bradford University, he had been in close contact with new Libyan students and helped to organise the celebrations at St George’s Square.
He said that although it was such a happy moment for Libyans across the world and the St George’s Square revellers, the future is still uncertain.
“We all hope that the future will be brighter and nicer but from my point of view, Libya still has some difficult times ahead and it is a society with no organisation.
“We can’t expect to become a democratic society within one or two months and we will now look to the rest of the world to teach us the principles of freedom.
“We are grateful to the countries that stepped in to help us achieve freedom.
Mr Omer came to the UK four years ago from Libyan city Agdbia with his wife Hameda.
The couple have two sons Muhammad, 3 and Ahmed, 1.
Libya’s interim leader has ordered an investigation into Muammar Gaddafi’s death after strong international pressure.
It will aim to determine how he was killed by a bullet to the head shortly after he was captured alive.
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said that the National Transitional Council has formed a committee to investigate Thursday’s killing amid conflicting reports of how Gaddafi died.
It comes after dozens of bodies, apparently of Gaddafi loyalists have been discovered in the Libyan town of Sirte.