ISLAMABAD  - The country on Thursday celebrated its 61st Independence Day with traditional flag-hoisting ceremonies and fireworks despite growing militant unrest and deadly bombings. People carrying green and white flags took to the roads on foot and in motorcycles and cars late Wednesday to see decorative lights put up at public and private buildings amid the deafening noise of firecrackers. The celebrations continued amid ongoing unrest in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, where 35 people were slain Wednesday, and the killing of nine people in a suicide blast in Lahore. Sirens blared and all traffic halted for one minute as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani hoisted the national flag in Islamabad at 9.00 am.