At least a dozen bodies were found in warlord Khalifa Haftar's stronghold of Benghazi, local media said earlier this week.

Libya's new Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh gestures as he speaks in parliament in Sirte, Libya, March 9, 2021.
Libya's new Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh gestures as he speaks in parliament in Sirte, Libya, March 9, 2021. (Reuters)

The prime minister of Libya’s new unity government has said he had instructed the attorney general to open an investigation into the discovery of bodies in Benghazi.

Local media said more than a dozen bodies of people shot dead were found on Thursday in the eastern city that is the stronghold of warlord Khalifa Haftar’s LNA militia, whose assault on the capital Tripoli was repulsed last year.

Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, who was selected through a United Nations-led process and took office this week, tweeted that such events cannot be tolerated or covered up.

“I gave direct instructions to the Interior Minister to deal with this event and I requested the Attorney General to open an investigation,” he said.

READ MORE: Is Libya moving from conflict to reconciliation?

Initial denial 

In Benghazi, the Security Headquarters, which includes both police and military units under LNA control, initially denied any bodies had been found but said later on Friday it would issue a statement on the matter.

Libya has endured a decade of chaos and violence since the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, as armed groups gained control over city districts leading to an epidemic of abductions and killings.

The main western and eastern factions that split apart in 2014 have publicly accepted Dbeibeh’s government, widely seen as Libya’s best hope for peace in years, though huge challenges remain.

READ MORE:Can Libya’s new unity government work towards ending the civil war?

Source: Reuters