libya

Libya vows justice for slain children

3 children of key businessman was found dead more than two years after they were kidnapped

17:23 April 10, 2018

Cairo: Head of Libya’s UN-backed government Fayaz Al Sarraj has vowed to bring to justice the killers of three children whose bodies were found this week more than two years after their abduction.

The kidnappings and murder are among a series that strife-racked Libya has witnessed since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

“The head of the Presidential Council has directed the state agencies concerned to intensify investigations and disclose aspects of the crime,” Mohammad Al Sallak, the spokesman for Al Sarraj said, the official Libyan news agency LNA reported Monday night.

Al Sallak, speaking at a press conference in the capital Tripoli, added that Al Sarraj ordered that the murderers be brought to justice in order to “get the fair punishment for their heinous crime”.

In December 2015, the three children of well-known Libyan businessman Riad Shershary were seized by gunmen from a car that was taking them to their school in the town of Surman, 60km west of Tripoli. The three were identified as Dhahab, aged 12; Mohammad, eight; and Abdul Hamid, five.

On Saturday, police said they had found their bodies buried in woods south of Surman.

After the disclosure of the killings, their hometown declared three days of mourning. The town’s people held a march in remembrance of the three children and demanded “retribution” for them, Libyan media reported.

Al Sarraj offered condolences to the victims’ family. “All the Libyans are shocked and stunned by this gruesome crime,” he added in an official statement.

Head of the parliament, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, Aqila Saleh, condemned the children’s murder as a “criminal, terrorist act”.

Post-Gaddafi Libya has slid in anarchy, including proliferation of armed militias. The North African country has two competing administrations: one in Tripoli and the second in Tobruk.

UN efforts to resolve the feud have been unsuccessful so far.