Authorities in Libya said on Sunday that they have found the site of a mass grave in Tripoli containing more than 1270 people believed to be the remains of the inmates killed by Moammar Gaddafi’s regime in a 1996 Abu Salim prison massacre.
A military spokesman and member of a committee tasked with finding mass graves said they were confident the field holds the remains of the prison massacre victims based on information from former regime officials who have been captured in the fight against the authoritarian leader.
Khalid al-Sherif, a military spokesman for Tripoli said, “We have discovered the truth about what the Libyan people have been waiting for many years, and it is the bodies and remains of the Abu Salim massacre.”
Lybians have been seeking justice for more than four decades of repression and alleged crimes at the hands of the regime. The violence in Lybia, that started last month is also linked to part of the protest.
The June 26, 1996, killings became a focal point for opposition to Gaddafi who waged fierce crackdowns against any sign of dissent. Most of the inmates were political prisoners, including Islamic clerics and students who had dared to speak against Gaddafi.
Abu Salim prison is a top security prison in Tripoli, where Gaddafi had locked up and tortured opponents for decades. It is found empty now after rebel force sweeping Gadhafi’s regime from the capital invaded and freed the prisoners.
Medical officials are making moves to distinguish each one of the bones from the other for identification by comparing their DNA with family members.