The room of some 40 skulls and charred remains the Toronto Star found in southern Tripoli last week had been a kill site for several days, according to survivors and eyewitnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch.


Rebels told the Star on Saturday that civilians were alive inside the small building when Moammar Gadhafi’s loyalists struck, possibly with a firebomb.


Some of the remains that were found were still smoldering.


Peter Bouckaert, a veteran of fact-finding missions who leads Human Rights Watch’s response to

wars, said yesterday that his organization heard: “It was used as an execution site over several days.


Most of the time, prisoners were kept inside trucks.

“Many of the people who were killed were ordinary civilians who were picked up at checkpoints.

“There were also executions of military officers who refused to obey orders.”

Bouckaert said one victim was reportedly brought to the site for refusing to shoot civilians.

“He was taken out, shot, and put back in the truck.”

Human Rights Watch “continues to find new massacre sites. Not all are very large.

“We found one where six were executed.”

Four were military officials accused of giving information to NATO; two others were doctors, Bouckaert said.

“I’m sure there are still some massacre sites which have not been located.”