May 19, 2017 6:26 pm
Updated: May 19, 2017 6:44 pm

140 dead in attack on Libyan air base, victims include civilians: reports

A Libyan anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in front an oil refinery in Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya, March 2011.

AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File

BENGHAZI, Libya, May 19 (Reuters) – A spokesman for east Libyan armed forces said on Friday that as many as 141 people had been killed a day earlier in an attack on a southern air base.

Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesman for the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), said 103 of those killed in the attack at Brak Al-Shati air base were LNA troops stationed in the area.

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Earlier, the mayor of Brak Al-Shati and a medical source in the town put the death toll at 89, though the medical official said some bodies had not been brought to the hospital.

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It was not possible to independently verify the number of casualties. Local and LNA officials have said that some of those killed were civilians who appeared to have been summarily executed.

The UN envoy to Libya condemned the attack, saying that it could amount to war crimes and may be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 civil war that toppled and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The oil-rich nation is now split between rival governments and militias.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2017 Thomson Reuters

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