Garabulli Death Toll Rises as Local Youths Attack Misratan Checkpoint

By Ajnadin Mustafa

In response to yesterday’s deadly incident in Garabulli in which at several dozen civilians were killed in clashes with Misratan militiamen, a group of Garabulli youths early this morning destroyed a checkpoint manned by Misratan forces on the road east towards to Gasr Al-Akhyar, some 15 kilometres away.

According to a number of reports, the Garabulli youths were aided by others from Khoms and destroyed a number of Misratan vehicles at the checkpoint.

Most of the checkpoints on the coast road between Tripoli and Misrata are manned by Misratan forces.

The number of Garabulli dead is now put at 40 and the wounded at 25, up from 30 dead yesterday. They will be buried on Friday following a mass funeral in the town. The reason for the delay is because body parts were still being gathered while others victims were burnt beyond recognition and it has taken time to identify them all.

The number of Misratan dead is now said to be 18, not 49 as reported yesterday.

In continuing reaction to yesterday’s killings, the Supreme Council of Tribes and Cities of Libya has denounced them as a major crime, blaming them on Misrata. So too has the anti-GNA grouping of members of the House of Representatives known as the National Sovereignty Bloc. They described the incident as a war crime and the Misratan armed group responsible as a “terrorist militia”. Both the Presidency Council and the UN special envoy Martin Kobler also had to bear some responsibility for what had happened, they added in their statement.

The Attorney General’s office has meanwhile said that a criminal investigation into the events has been opened. However, the justice ministry in the Beida-based government of Abdullah Al-Thinni wants an international commission to investigate and those responsible dealt with by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.