As the opposition forces in Libya continue to turn their attention to finding Daffy Duck, there have been some very disturbing reports coming out of Tripoli. There is mounting evidence that both sides are guilty of war crimes. Specifically, dead fighters have been found with their hands tied behind their backs. In one instance, the people who were found were civilians that had been inside a tent on a roundabout close to the Gadhafi compound. No one is saying who might be responsible for those deaths, but it is a crime to summarily execute people in this way.
To be honest I think that there are worse stories that the death of people who were stupid enough to maintain their support of Gadhafi. To me, a far more disturbing incident was the one where snipers put a bullet through the head of a 10 year old girl who was just getting out of bed after wakening from her sleep. The sniper had trained his gun on the little girl’s window. Her mother was hit in the shoulder by the same sniper. If people from the neighbourhood took matters into their own hands against this sniper, then I, for one cannot blame them.
A very grim picture has come from Abu Salim. First of all there is a story floating about that at least 180 prisoners, who had already been tortured at the Abu Salim prison, had been killed via hand grenades thrown into their cells by the retreating guards. Second, the hospital at Abu Salim was abandoned by its health workers. This meant that the wounded who had been taken to the hospital were abandoned. Many of them died as a result of their festering wounds and the failure of the staff to remain at their sides and give them attention. At this point in time no one can say if any were executed at the site.
Another grim picture has come from the area of Gadhafi’s compound, where several bodies were found to be lying where they had fallen. There was evidence of some being executed. What is not clear in all of this is whether executions were carried out by the people of Tripoli or whether it was some of those opposition forces who had carried out the executions. I can only hope that there is an investigation into this matter.
There is also news from Brega, where the opposition forces finally broke through the resistance of the pro-regime fighters. This time, it was the finding of landmines in the doorway of a house…. charming… they left the landmines as a welcome home present.
There is always the possibility that some of the executions that will be blamed on the opposition will have been carried out by Daffy troops. If, for example, some of the mercenary fighters had wanted to surrender to the opposition forces, but those in command of them refused to surrender, then who is to say that these people then carried out those executions? When the conflict began there were stories of soldiers being tied to the trucks that were to transport them to Benghazi and that they had been shot in the back of the head. I do not want to be hasty in making judgements. The truth will come out one day….
The hunt for Gadhafi seems to be continuing with Sirte being the focus of attention. The opposition was hoping that they could negotiate a surrender, but the tribes in the town are loyal to Gadhafi and they have refused to surrender. Already NATO has been knocking out some command and control centres in Sirte. The actual whereabouts of Gadhafi remain unknown.