By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 28 October 2017:
Several investigations into the killing of 36 men whose bodies were found on Thursday in Al-Abyar east of Bengahzi have now been ordered by the authorities in the east of the country as questions grow as to who exactly was responsible.
Major-General Abdul Razzak Al-Nazhuri, the military governor from Ben Jawad to Derna, today told Major-General Wanis Bukhamada, the commander of Saiqa Special Forces and the head of the new central operations room, to set up a committee to investigate the murders. Meanwhile, Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter has ordered the military prosecutor to carry out a separate investigate and bring the killers to justice.
The Beida-based interim government’s interior ministry had already announced that it was setting up it own investigation and it is reported saying that the victims had been tortured before being killed.
There is increasing revulsion at the killings and the fact that the 36 were reportedly tortured before being shot in the head. There are growing calls for the culprits to be found and punished, regardless of who they are.
With allegations circulating that the victims were militants captured in Benghazi and subsequently held in military prisons and that members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) may have been responsible, the case threatens to seriously damage the LNA’s standing.
Clearly aware of this, and the fact that it could also result in arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court, the LNA is moving fast to distance itself from the murders and protect itself from any fallout.
In his instructions to the military prosecutor, Hafter called on him to identify the dead, to find out if they had been held in military prisons, and who was involved in the killings. Hafter’s statement also pointed out that there had already been a number of military instructions stating that it was a criminal offence to detain anyone in a secret prison or administer punishment outside the law.