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The country is made of three historical regions, Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica.
In December 2017 the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations informed the United Nations that the country's official name was henceforth the "State of Libya"; "Libya" remained the official short form, and the country continued to be listed under "L" in alphabetical lists.
Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. The coup leader Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country from the Libyan Cultural Revolution in 1973 until he was overthrown and killed in the War of 2011.
Ottoman rule continued until the Italian occupation of Libya resulted in the temporary Italian Libya colony from 1911 to 1943. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people.
After the fall of Carthage the Romans did not immediately occupy Tripolitania (the region around Tripoli), but left it under control of the kings of Numidia, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection.
Ptolemy Apion, the last Greek ruler, bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome, which formally annexed the region in 74 BC and joined it to Crete as a Roman province.
During the Second World War Libya was an important area of warfare in the North African Campaign. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
It is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, OIC, and OPEC.The country's official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.In the second Libyan Civil War ongoing since 2014, two authorities initially claimed to govern Libya: the Council of Deputies in Tobruk, and the 2014 General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, which considered itself the continuation of the General National Congress, elected in 2012.As of July 2017 talks are still ongoing between the GNA and the Tobruk-based authorities to end the strife and unify the divided establishments of the state including the Libyan National Army and the Central Bank of Libya.The Latin name Libya (from Greek Λιβύη, Libyē) referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to its central location in North Africa historically visited by many Mediterranean cultures which referred to its original inhabitants as the "Libúē." The name Libya was introduced in 1934 for Italian Libya, reviving the historical name for Northwest Africa, from the ancient Greek It was intended to supplant terms applied to Ottoman Tripolitania, the coastal region of what is today Libya having been ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911, as the Eyalet of Tripolitania.The coastal plain of Libya was inhabited by Neolithic peoples from as early as 8000 BC.