Tripoli, 19 January 2013:
The 82nd anniversary of the Battle of Kufra was marked today with a ceremony in the town attended . . .[restrict]by the President of the General National Congress. Also present were the Minister of Social Affairs, Kamila Khamis Al-Mazini, as well as the deputy ministers of local government, housing, education, health, and oil, together with a number of Congress members. Mahmoud Jibril, the leader of the National Forces Alliance (NFA) was also present.
Magarief and others, who laid wreaths at the Battle Memorial, spoke about the epic courage of those who fought in January 1931 — calling it a pivotal point in the history of Libya’s struggle against colonialism and tyranny.
The battle was one of the last between Italian troops under General Graziani and the Sennusi forces led by Omar Mukhtar. Kufra was the last bastion of the Senussi when the Italians attacked it from ground and air and captured it. The defenders, whose courage was no match for the Italian armoured cars and airforce, then fled into the desert towards Egypt but were mown down by Italian aircraft.
An Italian correspondent at the time wrote how the Senussi with the wives, children and animals that fled were attacked from above by machine gun fire and bombs. “Along the route, water wells at Matea, Bisciara, and elsewhere are filled with bodies”, he wrote.