In Misrata, a Morbid Task: Finally Burying the Dead

Libyan city littered with corpses after months of fighting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2011 2:35 AM CDT
Volunteers work to recover and bury dead bodies for health and religious reasons in Misrata, Libya.    (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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(Newser) – After months of street fighting, shelling, and blockades, corpses are one of the few things the battered Libyan city of Misrata isn't short of. Dozens of volunteers from among the rebels seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi have volunteered for the grim task of finding and burying the dead from more than two months of fighting, the AP reports. Local doctors estimate more than a thousand people have been killed in the city since the uprising began.

The group has found well over 100 corpses, including 44 charred bodies in a single house. Almost all of the bodies found so far were soldiers who fought for Gadhafi. "When a fighter gets killed, his friends take his body away," a rebel says, adding that Gadhafi's fighters don't seem to do the same. "When Gadhafi's forces pulled out, we found that they had left lots of bodies—10 here, 25 there—and the dogs and the cats were eating them," he says. "In the end, we are all sons of Adam and need to be treated like sons of Adam," another team member says. "We all deserve a proper burial."

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