Seventeen bodies have been found in newly discovered mass graves in the Tarhuna region of western Libya. The Missing Persons Authority said the total number released in the coming months was 112.Lotfi Tawfiq, head of a committee appointed by a UN-recognized government agency to search for the missing, said five new mass graves containing 17 bodies had been found since Thursday.
The tombs are located in Tarhuna, where forces of the Eastern Khalifa Haftar attacked the GNA capital Tripoli last year.Located 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Tripoli, Haftar became the site of a failed invasion.The presence of a mass grave in Tarhuna was first reported after Haftar forces withdrew from western Libya in June.
Libya’s GNA interior minister, Fatih Basha, said the graves “represent unpunished atrocities.”One of the bodies seized was that of General and former Information Director Mabrook Khalifa, Basha said.
The tombs discovered this week are the latest in a series of horrific discoveries in Tarhuna, and excavations are ongoing.Libya, Africa’s largest crude oil reserve, has been embroiled in controversy for more than a decade since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gaddafi in a NATO – backed coup in 2011.
Since then, armed groups have dominated the two regions: the GNA in Tripoli and the eastern Haftar-backed regime.Fighting groups signed a “permanent ceasefire” last month following UN-sponsored talks in Geneva.Following the agreement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) welcomed the move to peace, but warned that the agreement failed to provide a clear commitment and accountability for serious crimes and other abuses.