Libyan authorities unearthed 10 bodies from a mass grave in Tarhuna city, south of the capital Tripoli, reports said Sunday.
The mass grave was discovered Saturday in a large agricultural area known as Mashrou' Alrabet in the city, Lutfi Tawfiq, director of the General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
He said the grave is the second to have been discovered in the city in the past 10 days.
In March, the authority said it has lists of 3,650 missing persons in different Libyan cities, including 350 in Tarhuna, which was a stronghold of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar before being defeated and forced to leave the city in June 2020.
According to official Libyan sources, Haftar's forces and affiliated militias committed war crimes and acts of genocide in the period between April 2019 and June 2020.
As of July, over 140 bodies have been exhumed in a slow process that began in June 2020 after the town was captured from eastern-based forces loyal to warlord Haftar. The al-Kaniyat militia had first supported the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, which was mainly backed by Turkey and Qatar.
But when Haftar's forces used Tarhuna as a launchpad for an offensive against the capital in April 2019, the al-Kaniyat switched loyalties. They chose the losing side.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says at least 338 people were abducted or reported missing during the five-year rule of the al-Kaniyat. "Residents reported that the militia often abducted, detained, tortured, killed and (caused the) disappearance of people who opposed them or who were suspected of doing so," the HRW said.
On March 16, a new transitional unity government headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah was approved to lead the country to elections this December.
The Libyan government has repeatedly called on the U.N., the International Criminal Court (ICC) and human rights groups to demand an international investigation into the mass graves.
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