Over 1,000 victims of Tripoli jail massacre found in mass grave

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The Independent Online

A mass grave believed to contain the bodies of more than 1,000 people killed by Muammar Gaddafi's security forces in a massacre 16 years ago has been uncovered in Tripoli.

Small heaps of human remains were pulled from the earth yesterday by anti-Gaddafi gunmen who flocked to the site outside Abu Salim prison. The prison has taken on iconic significance for Libya's new rulers, whose uprising against Gaddafi first erupted when families of inmates killed at Abu Salim demonstrated in Benghazi to demand the release of their lawyer.

"I am happy this revolution succeeded, and that our country will be better," Sami al-Saadi, 45, who claims to have lost two brothers during the massacre, told Reuters. "But when I stand here, I remember my brothers who were killed."

"We are dealing with more than 1,270 martyrs and must distinguish each one from the other by comparing their DNA with family members," said Dr Osman Abdul Jalil, a medical official. "It may take years to reach the truth."

Khaled al-Sharif, spokesman for the Tripoli Military Council, said investigators had found the site about two weeks ago, relying on information from people detained on suspicion of involvement in the massacre.