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Africa News of Monday, 29 March 2021


Alleged victims of Al-Kani militia buried in Libya's Tarhuna

The victims surrounded by loved ones The victims surrounded by loved ones

Mourners pray around the bodies of alleged victims of the Al-Kani militia. The bodies were found in mass graves in the once militia-controlled Libyan town of Tarhuna.

"Tarhuna bids farewell to convoys of martyrs. Everyday, it's ten, seven, eight (victims), while the Al-Kani gangs and their criminal followers roam around in Benghazi" Tarhuna a resident.

"We demand fair punishment and the detainment of killers and criminals as soon as possible. There is no truce except after the arrest of these murderers and criminals." said Mohammed Aamer.

The June discovery came a day after the withdrawal of forces loyal to eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar from the town.

According to Issa Harouda, human rights activist, the Al-Kani militia culpable.

"It (Al-Kani militia) is killing families. Since this gang took control here, entire families have been annihilated, 33 families have been killed in mass."

"Some members of this criminal gang, its head and its commandos are all still in the eastern region and have their full freedom without getting harassed by any government agency."

The United Nations voiced "horror" when mass graves were first discovered in Tarhuna last June. Since then scores more bodies have been exhumed there, including women and children.

Haftar had used Tarhuna as the main staging point for an ultimately failed attempt to seize the capital in a military offensive launched in April 2019.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has said more than 300 people had been abducted or reported missing in the past in Tarhuna.

Residents had reported that the Al-Kani militia had "often abducted, detained, tortured, killed and disappeared people," said the rights watchdog.