August 30, 2011 / 4:19 PM / in 6 years

Libya commander says 50,000 dead in uprising

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - An estimated 50,000 people have been killed since the beginning of Libya’s uprising to oust Muammar Gaddafi six months ago, a military commander with the country’s interim ruling council said on Tuesday.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter looks at cartridges used by pro-Gaddafi forces, in the city centre of Zawiyah, 50 km (31 miles) east of Tripoli August 30, 2011 REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

“About 50,000 people were killed since the start of the uprising,” Colonel Hisham Buhagiar, commander of the anti-Gaddafi troops who advanced out of the Western Mountains and took Tripoli a week ago, told Reuters.

“In Misrata and Zlitan between 15,000 and 17,000 were killed and Jebel Nafusa (the Western Mountains) took a lot of casualties. We liberated about 28,000 prisoners. We presume that all those missing are dead,” he said.

“Then there was Ajdabiyah, Brega. Many people were killed there too,” he said, referring to towns repeatedly fought over in eastern Libya.

The figures included those killed in the fighting between Gaddafi’s troops and his foes, and those who have gone missing over the past six months, he said.

Reporting by Samia Nakhoul; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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