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Fast Facts
Official Name: Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya
Population: 6,6 million
Capital: Tripoli
Government: Jamahiriyya; political governance through local councils led by the populace, however Libya remained an authoritarian state under the previous leadership of Muammer Qadhafi
Leaders: Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Head of the Transitional National Council
Religion: Sunni Muslim 97%, other 3%
Languages: Arabic, Italian, English
GDP: $90.57 billion (CIA 2010 est.)
GDP/Capita: $14,000 (CIA 2010 est.)
Main exports: Crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals
Time zone: GMT + 2
International dialing code: +218
Currency: 1 Libyan Dinar (LYD) = USD 8
Country briefing
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Libya gained independence in 1951 after having been colonized by the Italians between 1911-1943 and then stood under UN administration. King Idris I ruled the country until the military coup led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. Libya is often called an artificial state, mainly because its territory was founded on the three culturally separate provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan.