Image captured from the video published on Facebook, February 21.
Five charred bodies were found Monday in military barracks in Benghazi, the second-largest city in Libya and a stronghold of anti-Gaddafi protesters. According to one of our Observers, the bodies were those of soldiers savagely massacred for refusing orders to fire against Libyan civilians protesting in the African nation.
Government-run Jamahiriya News Agency (JANA) reported last week that the Al-Fudhail bin Omar base, home of the barracks where the bodies were found, was an important target of anti-Gaddafi protests.
Benghazi fell to protesters on February 18. Two days later, demonstrators headed to the military compound to demolish the building they regarded as a symbol of Gaddafi’s authoritarian rule. JANA reported that the building had been pillaged by "rioters" but did not mention that the bodies of five burned soldiers had been found.
“In Benghazi, everyone knows that you risk being punished if you refuse to kill Libyan civilian demonstrators”.
Hassan Al-Djahmi is a Libyan exile in Switzerland and the creator of one of the first Facebook pages used to organise the ‘Day of Anger’ protests that began February 17 in Benghazi. He posts updates on all of the coordinated demonstration efforts in different towns across Libya.
The people of Benghazi discovered on Sunday the true horror of the repression when they found the bodies in the Al-Fudhail bin Omar base. Five soldiers were burnt to a crisp by other soldiers.
[Another one of our Observers in Benghazi also confirmed the reports to FRANCE24.]
WARNING THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES.
In the video a man from the mob yells out that they are now in control of the military barracks. He says Tripoli will be the next city to fall.
Protesters were able to take the city of Benghazi with help from the police. However, there were still [pro-Gaddafi] soldiers inside the barracks. Those who disobeyed orders, meaning those who refused to fire at Libyan civilians were punished.
No one knows exactly when the bodies were burned. In Benghazi, everyone knows that you risk being punished if you refuse to kill Libyan civilian demonstrators”.
Translation of the dialogue in the video:
A man is heard screaming.
“G-d is great, these are martyrs”.
“Look. How many are there”?
“There is only one G-d! You are a dog [referring to Gaddafi]”
Post written with Peggy Bruguière, journalist at FRANCE 24.