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Evidence of ‘mass execution’ in TRIPOLI – Al Jazeera English

August 25, 2011

Evidence of ‘mass execution’ in Tripoli

Al Jazeera correspondent finds bodies of men reportedly killed by Gaddafi forces just as rebels closed in on capital.

Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 14:11

Al Jazeera has found evidence of a possible mass execution of political activists in Libya.

Visiting a hospital in Tripoli on Thursday, Al Jazeera’s James Bays said he saw the bodies of 15 men suspected to have been killed a few days earlier as the rebels closed in on the Libyan capital.

“The smell here is overpowering,” Bays said from the hospital where a number of bodies lay.

“I have counted the bodies of 15 men, we were told there were 17 here. Two bodies were taken away by relatives for burial.”

“We are told these men were political activists who have been arrested over the last few days and weeks and being held near the Gaddafi compound. When the opposition fighters started to enter the compound we are told they were killed.

“Everyone I have spoken to who has looked at these injuries, all the medical staff, they say they believe that the injuries they see on the bodies of these men have the hallmark of a mass execution.”

Bays said there were no forensic scientists at the hospital. Doctors there had taken photos of the exit and entry wounds on the bodies, with the intention of showing it to an expert at a later stage.

Fierce fighting

The grisly discovery came as fierce fighting continued across the capital on Thursday, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reported.

Fighting was concentrated along the perimeters of Bab al-Aziziya and in the neighbouring Abu Salim district, where Gaddafi reportedly released, armed and paid former prisoners to fight for his regime.

Rebels stormed into the Abu Salim district, which is one of the main holdouts of forces loyal to Gaddafi.

“Rebels have managed to enter the Abu Salim neighbourhood; clashes are taking place and rebels are pushing very hard,” Khodr said.

Rebel reinforcements also streamed into Tripoli from other cities to join in the fight against remnants of Gaddafi’s forces.

A rebel spokesman told Al Jazeera that “Libyan territory is 90 to 95 per cent under the control of the rebellion”.

The rebels are determined to eliminate the last pockets of resistance and to find Gaddafi; they have offered amnesty and a reward to anyone who kills or captures the 69-year-old Libyan leader.

In Benghazi, the National Transitional Council (NTC) told a news conference on Wednesday that Libyan business people had contributed $1.7m for the cash reward.

“The NTC supports the initiative of businessmen who are offering two million dinars for the capture of Muammar Gaddafi, dead or alive,” Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the NTC chief, said.

via Evidence of ‘mass execution’ in Tripoli – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

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