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42 bodies found in mass grave in Libya

42 bodies found in mass grave in Libya
A handout picture released on February 21, 2017 by the Al-Zawiyah Branch of the Libyan...   -  
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MOHANED KREMA/AFP -

Libya

Libyan authorities have discovered 42 unknown bodies in a mass grave in the northern coastal city of Sirte.

The General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons said in a statement on Sunday that it received a notification from the office of the local prosecutor on a mass grave found in Ibn Khaldoun school in the Jiza al-Bahriya area.

It said 42 unknown bodies were exhumed over two weeks of work in the school.

The bodies were taken to a hospital to take samples from the bones and were buried later, the statement said.

"Samples were taken from the bones for DNA analysis, in coordination with the forensics office," the same source said.

The radical jihadists had fiercely defended the city for months, using urban guerrilla tactics, before being defeated by pro-government forces in late 2016.

The bodies are believed to be belonging to people killed by the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group which seized the city for more than a year from August 2015 to December 2016.

Discoveries of mass graves are common in war-torn Libya, especially in Tarhuna city, a former stronghold for warlord Khalifa Haftar.

More recently, two mass graves of seven and eight bodies respectively were discovered in the courtyard of a hospital in Sirte in late August.

According to Libyan official sources, Haftar’s forces and affiliated militias committed war crimes and acts of genocide in the period between April 2019 and June 2020.

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