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LIBYA: Hundreds of bodies found at abandoned Tripoli hospital

August 26, 2011 | 11:45 am

More than 200 decomposing bodies were discovered at an abandoned Tripoli hospital Friday, the BBC reported.

A BBC correspondent found the bodies of men, women and children on beds and in the corridors of a hospital in the Abu Salim district of the capital. He said doctors and nurses fled the facility after clashes erupted nearby between rebel forces and those loyal to Moammar Kadafi.

It was not clear how the people died, the BBC reported. A Reuters photographer reported that some of the bodies were rebels who had been executed by Kadafi forces, but that could not be independently confirmed.

There were hundreds of bodies around the hospital, on gurneys and in corridors, the BBC correspondent said. Some appeared to be civilians, some fighters, some African mercenaries, he said.

Residents in the nearby neighborhood said some of the dead had been alive when they were brought to the hospital, some seriously injured. Others had already died, they told the BBC.

After the hospital closed, some patients were left to die, residents said.

"These bodies have been here in the hospital for five days. Nobody has taken care of them -- to bring them to the mortuary, to identify them, to bury them," Osama Pilil, who lives near the hospital, told the BBC.

On Friday, locals were cleaning and trying to reopen the hospital, but it was a daunting task, Pilil said.

"We need help. It is very urgent. There is no government here. We need professional help, from the International Red Cross, because there has been a massacre in Abu Salim," Pilil said.


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--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Bodies of men, believed to have been executed by soldiers loyal to Moammar Kadafi, lie in a hospital compound in the Abu Salim district in Tripoli on Friday. Credit: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters.