Tripoli, March 8 (IANS) A rebel group has claimed that Libyan army officers were killed for refusing to fire at anti-government protesters in a mountainous region west of Tripoli, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday.
The TV channel has received pictures that purportedly show the army men being shot dead for not obeying the order of attacking the rebels, evidence of how Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi deals with “traitors”.
The pictures were sent to Al Jazeera by a rebel group in the area.
A survivor of the killings says the men were rounded up, their legs tied before being shot in the head or back from close range.
It is impossible to independently verify the authenticity of the video, the channel said.
The pictures emerged as rebel fighters face perhaps their greatest challenge yet as they take stock of what seems a slowing of momentum in their campaign.
Libyan state media has reported that a rebel base was recaptured by the army in the western city of Az Zawiya.
However, the protesters are regrouping in towns in the east of the country. Military and pro-Gaddafi forces have at least for the time being halted their advance to the Libyan leader’s home town and stronghold of Sirte.
Inspired by the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the protests have engulfed Libya since they began Feb 14. The protesters are demanding the ouster of Gaddafi who has ruled the north African country for 41 years.