IS corpses in re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers

Kuwait Times - - International -

MISRATA: Hun­dreds of corpses of Is­lamic State fight­ers have lain stored for the past year in a row of re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers in the Libyan city of Misrata await­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion on their fate. “The tem­per­a­ture must be kept at be­tween -18 and -20 (Cel­sius, 0.4 to -4 Fahren­heit) for the bod­ies to re­main con­served,” said Ali Tuwaileb at a high se­cu­rity anti-or­ga­nized crime com­plex in the city. Around 700 bod­ies have been housed at the im­pro­vised morgue ever since IS ji­hadists were ex­pelled in De­cem­ber 2016 from the coastal city of Sirte that had been their bas­tion in Libya. Two old stretch­ers un­der an im­pro­vised tent, set up in front of the con­tain­ers, serve as a lab­o­ra­tory for a foren­sic doc­tor.”As you can see, we don’t have the means. This is where we took sam­ples for DNA tests and where we pho­tographed the corpses,” said Tuwaileb, who is in charge of the fa­cil­ity.

Due to the lack of re­sources, sev­eral hun­dred other IS corpses have been aban­doned un­der the rub­ble in Sirte or in makeshift ceme­ter­ies dug by the ji­hadists. In the wake of the bat­tle dur­ing which US-led coali­tion air strikes backed Libyan se­cu­rity forces, de­cay­ing bod­ies on the streets of Sirte gave rise to fears of epi­demic.

In a com­ment af­ter an Au­gust visit that drew strong crit­i­cism, Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son said the coun­try could one day be­come a mag­net for tourists and in­vestors once it can “clear the dead bod­ies away”.

Ac­cord­ing to Tuwaileb’s es­ti­mate, be­tween 1,500 and 2,000 ji­hadists were buried in the Mediter­ranean city. “We don’t have enough fridges, or we would have ex­humed all the bod­ies,” said the Libyan of­fi­cial, who pointed out that the con­tain­ers were loaned by pri­vate com­pa­nies. Out of the seven re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers in Misrata, three have bro­ken down. “We’ve had to re­dis­tribute the bod­ies among the fridges that still work,” said Tuwaileb. — AFP

MISRATA: Ali Tuwaileb who is in charge of a high se­cu­rity anti-or­ga­nized crime com­plex in Misrata where the bod­ies of Is­lamic State (IS) group fight­ers are be­ing stored opens one of the re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers at a make-shift morgue. — AFP

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