last update October 11, 2011
<< The Tripoli Massacres
The (Estimated) Death Toll Soars
Since rebel forces followedthepath of NATO'sbombs and entered Tripoli in late August, a rash of brutal and "mysterious" killings has plagued the city. Bodies at first left rotting in the open, stuffedinto a hoslital-cum-slaughterhouse, and then in mass graves appearing weekly. I estimate collectively at least 400 known victims of the takeover have turned up by the end of September, with many more expected.
On October 5, it was announced, two more mass grave sites had been found around Tripoli, adding between them an estimated 900 victims to the growing Tripoli massacres. One grave in the Gargarish area held about 200, they said, while another in Tajoura was believed to hold 700. Al Arabiya quoted Naji al-Issawi, the rabble "security chief" for Tripoli, as telling a press conference that “witness testimony has allowed us to uncover two mass graves of victims of the old regime."  As usual, I doubt the rebel estimate and assessment of the back-story.
A follow-up report from al Arabiya, dated October 6, added this on the victims:
locals residents say they are possibly corpses that were found on the streets after deadly clashes that occurred at the end of August this year.Does "others" mean other bodies, or other bodies of loyalist soldiers? The distinction is important and not spelled-out.
Some of the perished were Qaddafi loyalist soldiers killed in action, while others appeared to have been executed.
Among the available sources, Xinhuanet (China) has a unique source that gave details other reports lack. Among them was this on the victims:
They were victims of clashes in the capital, especially in Bab Azizya military compound and the Abu Salim neighborhood, between fighters of the now ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) and forces loyal to fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi in late August as the NTC sought to take control of the capital, a source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.TVNZ (New Zealand) added that:
They included the soldiers on both sides as well as some civilians, the source said, adding that identification has been hard. 
Most or all of those will likely be head shots, once the bullet holes have been found on closer study. If there is closer study. According to TVNZ, the same Issawi who's certain the victims were all Gaddafi's doing, "said officials planned to dig up more of the site in the Gargarish district and start identifying the remains."  This decision was made despite the warning from Human Rights Watch that this will make it impossible (somehow) to accurately identify the victims or possibly their killers. Whenever they defy this and dig up bodies, suspect they have a reason for discarding clues to leave as little as possible to contradict what some strange people are about to say about their disappeared, anti-Gaddafi relatives...Journalists at the Gargaresh grave said that bodies seen had not died long ago judging by the lack of decomposition, AFP reported.
One of the corpses displayed today was largely decomposed and appeared to be clad in military fatigues and boots.
A pathologist told journalists at Gargaresh that at least two of the bodies had bullet wounds and around 20 had fractured skulls, reported AFP.
The Gargarish grave
Al Arabiya's first report said:
A mass grave in Gargaresh, on the coast some seven kilometers (four miles) from the center of Tripoli, contained the bodies of about 200 people, Issawi said, thought to have died in the battles surrounding the rebel assault that ousted Muammar Qaddafi. A video report they posted the following day shows the first opening into an underground chamber, lined with cinder blocks, roofed over, and covered in earth. It's inside the walled grounds of a cemetery, but an open row, not the section with regular graves.
At right is the main emptied grave there - a single long trench that looks capable of holding perhaps 100 bodies, if packed in. In the near distance however is a second area of active digging, surrounded by spectators.
The Tajoura graves
A "second" grave site, announced the same day, but apparently found sometime after the first one, "contained an estimated 700" victims, al-Issawi said.  This doesn't seem to be a single site really, indicating one huge dump of bodies. Rather, it seems to be cluster of graves of varying sizes in Tajoura, a neighborhood on Tripoli's far east end. Tajoura was one of the centers of anti-Gaddafi activity in February, and reportedly the first area to fall into rebel hands, on August 20.
A Youtube video posted by Quatchi Canada shows no digging, and one body. This is shown below, enhanced a bit. This shirtless, apparently dark-skinned, person has clearly been dead for some weeks at least, possibly months from the look of it. his face is basically that of a skeleton now.
Al Arabiya described the one grave they saw as in "Birasta Milad, a rural area 10 kilometers (six miles) from the city center." Quatchi Canada gives the locale of the corpse above as "Bir Al-Uosta, Tajura." Xinhuanet added details on the body dispersal, suggesting that nearly half of this huge number were in a single grave site, and the rest spread out over several:
Meanwhile, about another 700 were buried in several mass graves in Tajoura area in suburban Tripoli, said Naji al-Issawi, an official of the protection force. Some 300 were in "one hole" while the rest scattered in several graves, al-Issawi said. How they found the graves
The freshly worked soil across a large patch of ground, as we saw being undone at the Gagarish cemetery, might have been an adequate enough giveaway that something was beneath. But the NTC claims no clue about this or the other suburban mass graves until someone told them. Just who thatwas is key to how they'll play this case.
“Witness testimony” was the evidence. No further explanation, except that something led them to believe these bodies were "victims of the old regime." This suggests loyalist captives were credited with the info, which usually "proves" their guilt. To accept that as evident, however, one must ignore the possibility of a coerced or fictitious confession used to launder the rebels' own intelligence on mass grave locales.
Or was their source simply the "cemetery official" who was able to tell the media where the bodies had come in from? "An official from the cemetery said the corpses had been collected from streets and hospitals following the rebel assault on the Libyan capital in late August" TVNZ reported.  When did they "discover" him and his knowledge? Only just now in October?
According to a CCTV report, it was neither captives, nor cemetery workers, nor theior own forces who likely made the graves that tipped them off. Rather "authorities say they found the site" in Gargerish "after receiving tips from residents who claimed they saw trucks bringing the bodies to the site." Now whose trucks would those be?
 "NTC discovers two mass graves containing as many as 900 bodies near Tripoli." Al Arabiya English. October 5, 2011. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/05/170384.html
 Another Mass Grave Discovered in Tripoli. Al Arabiya English. October 6, 2011.
 "Graves burying 900 unveiled in Libyan capital." Xinhuanet. October 5, 2011. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/06/c_131175854.htm
 "Libya militia claims mass grave found." TVNZ. October 6, 2011. http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/libya-militia-claims-mass-grave-found-4449002