As fighting between rebels and loyalists continues to rage in Libya--whether in central Tripoli, the Tripoli airport, or Muammar Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte--there's a troubling story line emerging in the capital: reports of abandoned bodies of people who appear to have been summarily executed rather than killed by battlefield injuries. The New York Times points out that these reports are increasing "as reporters are able to enter ever wider swathes of the sprawling capital."
On Thursday, a Reuters correspondent discovered bullet-riddled bodies of Qaddafi soldiers at a military encampment in central, including two who had their hands bound with plastic handcuffs and one in a nearby ambulance "strapped to a gurney with an intravenous drip in his arm." Meanwhile, a British medical worker said a hospital had received the bodies of 17 civilians thought to have been executed by government forces at a prison near Qaddafi's compound. One survivor at the hospital claimed that prison guards had opened fire on him and other inmates as the rebels stormed the capital. The Daily Telegraph, citing a survivor, is reporting today that 180 civilian prisoners--including seven children-- were killed by Qaddafi forces earlier this week at a military base in Tripoli's suburbs, while Amnesty International is reporting abuses by both sides in the conflict, including a charge that the rebels have detained and beaten black African migrants suspected of being Qaddafi mercenaries.