Independence from Italy: 24 December 1951
This region was once a Roman province, and had been colonized along the coast by the Vandals in ancient times. It was also invaded by the Byzantines and then absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. In 1911 the Turks were expelled when the country was annexed by Italy. An independent monarchy, under King Idris, was created in 1951 with help from the UN, but the monarchy was abolished when Gadaffi took power in 1969.
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History of Libya