53 Gadhafi Supporters Apparently Executed

Bodies found in abandoned Sirte hotel on Friday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 8:14 AM CDT
Libyans inspect a house burnt during the battle for Sirte on October 22, 2011. Warning: Next image is disturbing.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Troubling news out of Libya: Human Rights Watch discovered the bodies of 53 people yesterday—apparent Gadhafi loyalists who appear to have been executed in the garden of a Sirte hotel. The decomposing bodies, which looked to have been killed between Oct. 14 and 19, were found in an area of the city that witnesses say anti-Gadhafi fighters from Misrata had under their control from earlier in the month. Some of the dead "had their hands bound behind their backs when they were shot," says an HRW director.

Sirte residents who initially discovered the bodies on Friday identified one as a former Gadhafi government official, and said they believed some of the victims were Gadhafi supporters who had probably been attempting to escape the district. HRW is calling on the National Transitional Council to investigate the incident and “hold accountable those responsible,” adds the director. “If the NTC fails to investigate this crime it will signal that those who fought against Gadhafi can do anything without fear of prosecution.” (More big news out of Libya: The nation will be ruled by Islamic Sharia law.)

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