Libyan activists found ‘beheaded’ in city of Derna

Derna, which has been outside the realm of government control since 2012, is currently controlled by the Islamic Youth Council.

Derna, which has been outside the realm of government control since 2012, is currently controlled by the Islamic Youth Council.

The bodies of three young activists have been found beheaded in Derna, in eastern Libya, where several militant groups are competing to take control of the city, a BBC report said Tuesday.

Residents in Derna found the bodies on Tuesday after the activists had been kidnapped earlier this month.

The three, Siraj Ghatish, Mohamed Battu and Mohamed al-Mesmari, were low-prolife rights activists who mostly shared their views via social media pages, a BBC correspondent said.

Derna, which has been outside the realm of government control since 2012, is currently controlled by the Islamic Youth Council, a branch of the al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar al-Sharia.

The council has reportedly set up an Islamic tribunal and Islamic police, according to video footage that surfaced last month.

It has been reported that Islamist militias in Derna have recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The BBC correspondent said it seems that there are three main militant groups in Derna, who vary in their degrees of extremism and are all competing to take over the city.

None of these groups have claimed responsibility for the executions so far, the reporter said.

 
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