Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sarraj Forces Deny Involvement in Mass Killing near Libyan Capital

Sarraj Forces Deny Involvement in Mass Killing near Libyan Capital

Tuesday, 14 November, 2017 - 07:15
Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord. (AFP)

The joint forces of the Libyan National Accord Government denied on Monday that they were involved in the mass murder of 28 people, whose bodies were discovered west of the capital Tripoli last week.

An official in the National Libyan Army told Asharq Al-Awsat that the corpses were found in the al-Hira region southeast of Warshefana some 60 kms southwest of Tripoli on Wednesday.

He explained the victims were identified as fighters there and they were killed when they attempted to escape combat.

Gunshots and signs of torture were detected on the corpses.

“This means that they were killed by the Geryan or Tarhouna militias because they were deployed in that region,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

The clashes in Warshefana took place between the armed forces there and forces led by the Zintan rebels military council and the western military region that is affiliated with the National Accord Government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Ahmed Hamza, of Libya's National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), said the bodies were found in the Wadi al-Hira region. The Red Crescent and Health Ministry have since transferred them to the Ali Omar Askar hospital in al-Sbiya region.

Medical sources confirmed from the relatives that the victims had marks of torture and gunshot wounds to the head and chest, meaning that they were part of a mass execution.

Hamza added that the spokesman of the Sarraj-linked joint force should be held legally accountable for refuting involvement in the crime.

The spokesman had previously denied the charges, saying that the claims were “completely baseless.”

Sarraj’s forces last week seized control of the Warshefana region after battles that left 70 people dead.

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