Gaddafi hometown in no mood to celebrate Eid festival
As Libyans across the country celebrated Sunday the beginning of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha, Sirte the hometown of the late leader Moammer Gaddafi was in no festive mood, dpa reported.
"Most families fled Sirte during the fierce fighting between the revolutionaries and loyalists of Gaddafi," said a resident in the port city.
"Those who have stayed behind do not feel like celebrating the Eid amid all these ruins," he added.
Sirte was the last bastion of Gaddafi, who was captured and killed on October 20 hours after his foes seized it.
The city was for weeks the scene of street battles between Gaddafi's supporters and opponents.
Footage broadcast Sunday on regional television stations showed heavily damaged parts of Sirte, a regular place for Gaddafi's meetings with foreign dignitaries during his 42-year rule.
Some mass graves were discovered in Sirte in the days that followed its fall to the fighters backed by the National Transitional Council.
Human rights groups suspect the deaths were the result of retaliatory acts.
"There is no information about missing people in Sirte," a local man told the broadcaster Al Jazeera. "There is not a family in the city that has no missing member. How can they celebrate the Eid?"
Other residents said they had little money to buy new clothes and sacrificial animals to celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest occasions in the Islamic calendar.
The gloom in Sirte sharply contrasted Sunday the festive mood in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Hundreds of residents, some wearing the monarchy's flag revived after Gaddafi's toppling, flocked Sunday to the Martyrs' Square in central Tripoli to offer special prayers for the Eid.