Two more mass graves were discovered southeast of Libya’s capital Tripoli in the city of Tarhuna, formerly held by Putist general Khalifa Haftar.
In a statement over the weekend, the General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons said bodies would be exhumed from the graves on Monday.
Tarhuna, a strategic city about 65 kilometers (41 miles) southeast of the Libyan capital Tripoli, was under the control of the al-Kaniyat militia, which gained a reputation for its brutal tactics. Under al-Kani’s leadership, the militia had initially sworn allegiance to a previous government in Tripoli. But it changed sides in the civil war and adapted to the eastern-based forces in Haftar 2019.
According to official Libyan sources, Haftar’s forces and affiliated militias committed war crimes and genocide during the period between April 2019 and June 2020.
It said that the remains of nine bodies were exhumed from the grave and that there is no information about the victims’ identities so far.
With the latest discovery, two graves have been found in the past week.
Since June last year, following the defeat of Haftar’s forces in the western parts of Libya, the Libyan government has discovered about 300 bodies in mass graves in Tarhuna and south of Tripoli.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned al-Kani and his militia in November after finding them responsible for killing civilians whose bodies were found in several mass graves in Tarhuna. They also claimed that the militia had committed acts of torture, forced disappearances and displacement of civilians.