Libyan government discovers 2 mass graves in Tarhuna
4 corpses exhumed from first grave with more expected from 2nd grave, in area once controlled by warlord Khalifa Haftar
The Libyan government on Monday said it had discovered two mass graves in the city of Tarhuna, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of the capital Tripoli, likely left behind by forces of retreating warlord Khalifa Haftar.
The General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons said in a statement that "the first grave contains four corpses, where Authority's teams are still working to exhume the bodies."
The authority also said that after ending work on the first grave, "work will start on the second grave, which is expected to include a number of corpses."
It added that since Haftar’s forces were driven from western Libya, atrocities they committed in areas once under his control are discovered on almost a daily basis.
According to Libyan official sources, Haftar’s forces and affiliated militia committed war crimes and acts of genocide in the period between April 2019 and June 2020.
On June 16, the Libyan government found 226 dead bodies in mass graves in Tarhuna and south of Tripoli.
The UN recognizes the government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.
Turkey supports the legitimate government led by al-Sarraj.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara