Haftar’s forces spokesman denies UN summary executions accusation
The so-called “Libyan National Army,” the main military force in eastern Libya under the rule of Operation Dignity commander, Khalifa Haftar, on Thursday denied accusations that its troops were involved in torture and killing of prisoners after the United Nations urged the “LNA” to investigate, Reuters reported.
The U.N. Human Rights Commission earlier this week called on the LNA, one of the many competing armed factions fighting in Libya since its 2011 civil war, to examine reports of summary executions of prisoners, Reuters added.
“We affirm that there is no truth to what is described in the statement regarding the torture or killing prisoners,” LNA spokesman Ahmad Messmari said, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Haftar’s froces have expanded their presence in central and southern Libya as they vie for control with forces linked to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and other opponents.
Khalifa Haftar has gained ground with Egyptian and United Arab Emirates support, and Western states say Haftar must be part of any solution to Libya’s conflict.
U.N. officials voiced concern this week that, after recent fighting in Benghazi, people taken prisoner by the LNA, which effectively controls eastern Libya, might be at imminent risk of torture and even summary execution, Reuters indicated.
Several videos circulated on social media this year claimed to show a commander of pro-Haftar Special Forces executing a number of masked and handcuffed prisoners.
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