By Mohammad Azeemullah
Thursday is normally the day of firecrackers in Libya. The day is considered auspicious for marriage ceremonies.
Unfortunately, Thursday, the 7th of January, 2016 witnessed no firecracker in Zliten, one of the cities in Libya. The city was dumb and deaf.
As life in Zliten was waking up to the breath of the day at 8:00 o’clock in the morning, it was made to sleep there and then.
A powerful bomb exploded at a police academy in the wee hour of the ceremony at Souk-at-talat in Zliten. Nearly one hundred people were killed and many hundred injured.
The impact of the bomb blast was so high that the local authorities did not know how to respond to the tragedy. Students were quickly evacuated from schools and colleges. Banks and other offices were abruptly closed. Life came to a complete halt.
The only vehicles that ran around were ambulances with the loud siren to and from hospitals announcing the tragedy of the day.
Our sincere condolences are with those who have lost their lives and pray to Allah for the departed soul. Our prayer is also with those of parents who have lost their beloved sons. May Allah provide them the inner strength to cope with the tragedy! Ameen
The incident is by far one of the worst to happen in the history of Libya. Even during the revolution of 2011, no casualty of such magnitude was ever witnessed on any single day in any conflict. Truly the tragedy has devastated the psychological morale of the city dwellers.
Libya is in chaos ever since Colonel Qaddafi was ousted from power. The country is run by two rival governments…one in Tabrook and the other is in Tripoli.
Recently, an international effort facilitated an agreement between the two rival powers in Libya. People began to hope for situations to improve. But the bomb tragedy on Thursday in Zliten casts doubt over the efficacy of the agreement.
If Libya has to stand against the threat of mindless violence, the people have to rise above their petty differences. They have to remain calm and united even in a state of most agitated moments.
Let tragedy be the strength rather than weakness to defeat all forces that wish to destroy the nation. Let those who have shed the blood and sacrificed their lives solidify the spirit to challenge all threats from both within and outside.