By Ahmed Elumami
Tripoli, 18 May 2013:
Searchers have uncovered a total of 11 bodies in the mass grave in Tawergha, at the end of the first stage of the delicate operation.
The final stages of the exhumation was watched by the Minister of Martyrs and Missing People, Ali Gadour during a visit to the site today.
It had been suspected originally that there were 25 corpses in the three graves discovered in the Subkha area of the town. The authorities had been directed to the site by information given by a former officer in Qaddafi’s army.
” The second stage of the operation will begin tomorrow, Sunday,” said Hamed Malki, the spokesman for the ministry told the Libya Herald. “This is to take the bodies to Misrata hospital to do autopsies and begin the [DNA] sampling process in order to identify them.”
The discovery of the mass grave led to angry protests yesterday in Misrata, against the return of Tawerghans to their town. Tawerghan leaders have denied any of their people were involved in the killings and called for an independent investigation into the Subkha grave, which reportedly contained victims who had been handcuffed.
Ten days ago the community’s leaders announced a peaceful return to their city on 25 June. They asked that protection be provided them by the local authorities as well as international bodies such as the Red Crescent and the Red Cross.
It has been reported that another mass grave, with at least seven bodies, has been discovered at Qalaa, in the Nafusa mountains. Ministry officials will shortly start an exhumation there.