Atrocity Questions Grow as Mass Graves Fill in NTC-Conquered Sirte

NTC Praises Misrata Rebels for Relative Restraint

NTC Oil Minister Ali Tarhouni today praised the Misrata rebels that conquered Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, saying “I am amazed at their self-restraint.” The rest of the world is amazed at something else.

That’s because the number of summary executions in the captured city seems to be enormous, and the NTC is burying around 300 of the rebel fighters’ victims in a giant mass grave. Many of the bodies still have their hands tied behind their backs, making the gunshots to the head all the more grim.

The mass grave is just part of the story, and the local cemetary has collected 572 bodies overall. All of them were reported as “mercenaries” by the rebel fighters, though again many of them were summary executions.

Which suited Sheikh Fathie Dariez, who runs Misrata’s prisons, just fine. “There was no mercy for foreign mercenaries,” the Sheikh noted.

There have been myriad questions about the revenge killings and mass detention of “suspects” by the NTC, but the Misrata rebels have been particularly brutal since the fall of Tripoli, destroying the entire city of Tawarga and declaring it “New Misrata,” herding the city’s black population into refugee camps in Tripoli before eventually attacking the camps as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.