The Libyan National Army has said it is moving against soldiers suspected of war crimes.
The action has been prompted by a widely-circulated clip of a senior LNA commander murdering three prisoners while they are bound and kneeling beside a wall. The military communiqué put out this evening by LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said that all captives should be treated in accordance with military and Islamic law and Arab morality.
He continued that cases of the abuse and murder of prisoners were being referred to the military police. He said that the LNA high command had set up an investigative committee to look into these serious allegations.
The trigger was the footage of a man allegedly identified as colonel Mahmoud Warfali executing three kneeling prisoners in cold blood. He is seen waiting for a black vehicle to move away from in front of the captives then walking up behind them casually and with his machine pistol shooting each one rapidly in the back of the head and then the body after they had collapsed. He fires seven shots in all and afterwards walks away.
Warfali, a Saiqa Special Forces commander, was targeted by a car bomb this February as his convoy passed a petrol station in Benghazi’s Gwarsha district on the way to siege of the 12 Buildings complex in Ganfouda. He was injured along with seven others but two of the soldiers with him were killed. In the footage, the man’s right arm is bandaged and he uses his left hand to fire the weapon.
Some LNA commanders were already uneasy at the treatment and mutilation of militant corpses after the final end of the Ganfouda siege on Saturday. The body of militant leader Jamal Makhzoum was exhumed from a shallow grave in the complex and tied to the bonnet of a vehicle before being paraded around while onlookers spat at and struck it. Another militant corpse was strung up in a cruciform position such as that used on their victims by IS terrorists in Sirte.
It is unclear when the footage of the man said to be Warfali shooting the prisoners was taken. However, the killings happened outside the Salmani house of three brothers who were members of his Saiqa Special Forces and were killed in action. In what would appear to be a staged act of revenge, the prisoners were shot in front of a wall painting commemorating the brothers.