A 16-year-old Irish schoolboy made a snap decision while on vacation in Tunsia to travel 15 hours to a rebel training camp in Tripoli. After just days of training he joined a band of 15 men on the frontline in Tripoli.
Muktar Smew, from Lucan, was the youngest in the group, who spent two weeks on fighting against Gaddafi’s men in the Libyan capital. His parents are doctors in Dublin.
He admitted that travelling to the rebel training ground was a snap decision and that his parents had no idea he was fighting. He told the Evening Herald “My parents didn't mind me going but I didn't intend to fight. They didn't know I was fighting until I got back.
“I didn't plan on fighting but when I heard that they captured Gaddafi's son I got excited. “My friend's uncle, who runs the training camp just outside Tripoli, brought me over,” he said.
“When I arrived there the training was over and they were just getting ready to go out.
“They just basically showed me how to use the gun, just firing in the air and practising stuff, and then I got my own gun.”
The young man said he doesn’t know if he killed anyone during the fighting but said he has no qualms about killing one of Gaddafi’s soldiers.
“I wouldn't mind. In our religion you have permission to do it. I was near the front door (of Gaddafi's compound) but I didn't get in. A few of my friends want to go over now as well.
“It's hard to know who you are shooting at. Even Libyans shooting at you, you don't know. They were shooting in our direction but nobody got shot from our group. It was like a drive-by shooting. I was a bit scared when there were shots going off, you don't know what's going to happen.”
Once Smew has completed his Leaving Cert he plans to leave his home in Dublin and live permanently in Libya.
Smew is returning to Ireland to enter his Leaving Cert year in the Dublin’s Institute of Education, on Leeson Street. His sister Fadwa (20) is the president of the Irish Libyan Youth Organization.
His parents moved to Ireland 20 years ago to take up work as doctors. It’s estimated that up to 500 of the 3,000 Libyan’s living in Ireland travelled to Libya to join the rebel’s campaign.
Euro News – “No Comment” footage of the rebels in Libya advancing: