BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhuanet) -- With the Opposition in Libya trying to gain popularity, a dead resistance hero has become a symbol for those rising up against Muammar Gaddafi.
Omar al-Mukhtar is the Libyan resistance leader who fought the Italian occupation in the early twentieth century.
Towns like Al-Badya are now in rebels' hands, but as the battle for Libya rages on to the west, al-Mukhta has become a potent symbol for those against Gaddafi.
Mohamed Mahmoud Agila said, "To Libyans, Omar al-Mukhtar means struggle, and fighting to force the occupier out of our Libyan Land. But Muammar Gaddafi has erased this from the memory of the people and made himself the only hero. Our demand is freedom, no more and no less, and we are calling for the departure of Gaddafi and his family."
The streets of nearby al-Bayda are now quiet, but fierce battles were fought here at the start of the unrest, as the rebels sought to expel pro-Gaddafi troops.
Analysts believe that choosing al-Mukhta as the symbol to fight against the Libyan leader is a clever step, as the anti-colonial hero is popular throughout the country.
His memory has presented a problem for Muammar Gaddafi, who has fostered his own personality cult during his rule. But it seems he cannot entirely ignore this national hero.
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