Video Shows Mass Execution In Libya's Benghazi In Revenge For Mosque Bomb Attack

GettyImages-909549024
Libyans check the aftermath of an explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi on January 24, 2018. The death toll following a double car bomb attack in the Libyan city of Benghazi night has risen to at least 34, a hospital spokeswoman said. ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images

A video shared online through a Facebook account connected to the Libyan National Army has shown the summary execution of at least ten people in Benghazi in revenge for a twin car bombing.

In the video, which has been shared across social media, at least ten men wearing blue jumpsuits are shown blindfolded and kneeling before their armed executioner, who is dressed in camouflage fatigues and carrying a silenced AK-47 rifle.

Related: Libya: Gaddafi's son and heir saif al-Islam returns to frontline politics

As the video progresses, the bearded men are shown being shot and falling slumped to the floor.

The footage was taken at the gates of Benghazi's Bayaat al-Radwan mosque where less than 24 hours earlier, according to Reuters, at least 35 people were killed in a twin car bomb attack.

GettyImages-909549024
Libyans check the aftermath of an explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi on January 24, 2018. The death toll following a double car bomb attack in the Libyan city of Benghazi night has risen to at least 34, a hospital spokeswoman said. ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations has indicated it believes the gunman shown in the images to be Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a special forces commander in the Libyan National Army wanted by the International Criminal Court for a string of similar atrocities.

"[The U.N. demands] the handing over of Mahmoud al-Werfalli immediately to (the ICC) as it documented at least 5 similar cases, in 2017 alone, carried out or ordered by al-Werfalli," the U.N.'s Libya mission said in a statement on Twitter.

The footage of the execution was shared on the Facebook account of a photographer who has worked publicizing the Libyan National Army's special forces. Alongside the video, the photographer Mohammed Ajali warns that similar acts of retribution will be taken against Islamist prisoners of the Libyan National Army if further bomb attacks take place.

He explains that 10 "terrorists" were killed at the request of the families who lost relatives in the Tuesday bombings. "This time 10, the bombing after 15, and after 20 and so on. This is how the price is calculated," Ajali wrote.

A Benghazi resident told Newsweek, on condition of anonymity, that the city had been left in a state of shock following the executions. "It should never have happened. These people were not related to the [bombing]. There were children in front of this execution. People used to complain about ISIS and Gaddafi doing these things. This is the same," she said referring to the Islamic State militant group and Libya's former ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.

Warfali, from an elite unit in the Libyan National Army which is under the command of Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, is wanted by the ICC for the summary execution of 33 individuals killed in Benghazi and its surroundings.

After the ICC issued the warrant for Warafli's arrest the Libyan National Army, which holds the balance of power in eastern Libya, said it had arrested the special forces fighter. It is now clear, however, that he is acting with impunity in Benghazi where he appears to be the most senior LNA commander operating on the ground.

Haftar, who has not condemned these most recent executions, is viewed by the his allies in Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as a potential future president in Libya, where elections have been slated as early as March 2018.

Just prior to the footage of the executions being shared online, Haftar met with the U.N.'s Libya envoy Ghassan Salame who had condemned the previous day's car bomb attack.

Video Shows Mass Execution In Libya's Benghazi In Revenge For Mosque Bomb Attack | World