The great swordfight of Sabratha

A survivor of the alleged massacre has told how they arrived without warning and fired indiscriminately at those who had assembled peacefully to chant ‘Down with the system’ in the town’s main street.

Among the dead was a pregnant housewife, who was killed as she stood on the balcony of her home, and children and pensioners who had gathered on the streets.

When the shooting ended, a fleet of Toyota pick-up trucks arrived in the main square carrying dozens of armed mercenaries who loaded about 200 bodies on to their vehicles before speeding off. Many had their faces covered as they waved guns at protesters and erased the evidence of the massacre.