October 25, 2011
The dead had been dumped on the “Sea-View Gardens” of an abandoned hotel. Many of the killings had been carried out with shots to the head; some were already injured when the executions took place; some had their hands tied behind their backs. Amid bullet and bomb casings, pools of water from burst pipes provided grim testimony to the revenge meted out on the last of the regime loyalists.
While international focus has been on the killings of Muammar Gaddafi and his son Muatassim and the display of their corpses, little is known about the fate of those who were with the Libyan dictator in his last refuge, his home town of Sirte. The discovery of the 53 corpses at the Mahari hotel, and another ten dumped in a nearby reservoir reveal a glimpse of the bloodletting.
It has not been possible to ascertain who was responsible for the dead in the reservoir. But the hotel had been in the hands of the rebels, by then the forces of the new government, when the slaughter was believed to have been carried out between 14 and 19 October.
Pools of blood had stained the ground beneath the bodies, spent cartridges lay scattered around suggesting a firing squad had been at work.