Belgrade, 13 Sept. (AKI) – Libyan rebels who control most of the country after defeating Muammar Gaddafi’s military, have executed 85 foreign mercenaries, including 12 Serbs, in the city of Misrata alone, Serbian media reported on Tuesday.
Belgrade daily Press said the executions took place in the state insurance building in Misrata after it was taken by the forces loyal to rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC). Among the killed mercenaries, who fought on Gaddafi’s side, were also nine Croats, 11 Ukrainians and ten Colombians, the paper said.
The report was also confirmed by Zagreb daily Vecernji list whose correspondent in Misrata, Hasan Hajdar Dijab, said many mercenaries had been killed in fighting, but those arrested were shot in the head.
It quoted a rebel commander in Misrata Abdelaziz Madini as saying “those killed weren’t soldiers but executioners who came here to kill for money”. He said other mercenaries who surrender would have a fair trial.
Balkans military analysts said they were not surprised by the report, because hundreds of veterans of 1990s Balkans war have sought engagement abroad after the end of the Balkan wars in 1995 and fought for money in various African and Asian countries.
In a related development, the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) said in its latest report that both sides in the Libyan conflict committed crimes, especially Gaddafi’s forces, but “crimes committed by rebels weren’t negligible either”, it added.
Amnesty International has called on Libya’s National Transitional Council to take steps to prevent human rights abuses by anti-Gaddafi forces.