last edit June 14, 2012
(see new images: Jerome Sessini - other updates long overdue, but will have to wait)
<< The Tripoli Massacres
<< Slashing and Dumping at the Roundabout
The "roundabout" area, circular road exchanges separated by grassy islands just outside the Bab al-Aziziyah compound (Google maps), was the host of some two dozen or more reported victims of execution as the rebels took Tripoli. Some of these mainly black, executed men were famously shown to the world on August 25, across the grass between lanes of dead traffic. Some of that traffic was smashed, thrown open, and abandoned near the dead.
This post will seek to sort out, visually, how many corpses there were in the area, just where, and when. And while we're at it, it might establish when these corpses can be verified as seen there. I'm well into this sub-project already, but still putting together the documentation, and seeking further input on bodies, locations, timeline, etc. The smashed and abandoned cars in the area are also of interest here, and I'm somewhat mapping and counting those, although it's hard to tell often which vehicles to count.
Imagery establishing the area (various lighting):
The loyalist encampment in March
Al Jazeera Aug 23 tents at 2:10
Al Jazeera Aug 24 tents and two dead at 0:20-25
Al Jazeera Aug 25 1:30 onward, various views of the destruction here
Encampment after the violence, great video - original link here, copy video (graphic - victim stabbed in the top of the head with a sword?)
CNN reports from the roundabout Aug 25
AFP video, Aug 25
Reuters Aug 25
Reuters, Aug 24, late afternoon: eight more victims shown, outliers, in a different area
Torn-down tent (any bodies beneath?)
The Atlantic: Medical tent, interior
Telegraph: Medical tent
RFERL: Roundabout victory
HRW: Central island victims
Central island, west end
West end, fighters
Victim there, close-up (Graphic - from Life.com, re-posted until I can re-locate the original and get its date)
More good photos coming...
New photos, June 14:
Jerome Sessini, Getty images
Aug. 24 images, late afternoon, showing "loyalist soldiers executed by Ant-Gaddafi rebels," among the east-end bodies (#1-7 below, might change now...)
East end bodies, three, looking north
The northernmost body - tells the story of Libya right there. It's intense - a shattered right arm, braced up, forced to fight again left-handed, brains blown out on the sidewalk.
East end bodies, another three - one looks like an old man
same with fighter and better scenery
another one not seen before, splattered in the street by there - right hand smashed off with a block?
Bodies 18 and 19 as below, late afternoon
Sessini, Aug. 25:
Blindfolded man executed ... some way that made his body "deflate" and slump grotesquely. The chain is from the barrier knocked over, perhaps used to bind or torture as well... Location unclear -perhaps the Abu Salim fire station?
Sessini Aug. 26 (roundabout area?)
Bodies removed in Abu Salim
The graphic is nearly ready to post, placing the 25 victims I can see. Most of the eight victims shown by Reuters on August 24 are a little arbitrary, but I think I have the right general area. The rest are verifiable from multiple angles. If we include the 7 piled just north of there, we'd have at least 32. The number doesn't include the charred legless body at the medical tent, which I haven't seen, nor any others I haven't seen, yet.
One oddity is how apparently one batch of bodies stood out on the 24th, generally on the east half of the map. The man draped in a (green) Libyan flag is near the middle of the map, just a hundred feet from the seven bloated bodies so visible the next day. And the next day these had apparently been replaced with these fresh bodies we all were shocked by - bloated and crawling with maggots already.
Can anyone find proof that the main body of victims here, across the central island, were present on the 24th? If not, we may be dealing with body-planting after all, about two days after rebels took the compound area. The one clear problem is victim #9 (as given below). His left arm has advanced decay an/or burning, and his blood across the sidewalk suggests more than 24 hours elapsed since an on-site execution. Was he there on the 24th and just kept from the media's view somehow?
Another clue: The August 24 victims in particular have a penchant for falling dead right between sets of tire skid-marks. One had bullets fired at that very low wall next to him.
Dec 7: The graphic is ready. This is draft one (or 1.2), sufficient for now. The tents especially, and cars, are not filled in or placed perfectly. The version I had up for one day was messed up in spots. The new version is still incomplete on cars and tents, but accurate on seen bodies. Bodies are actually visible in the pile of seven just north of here, and perhaps at the roundabout (#9 in particular has a blob of pixels there). But the tents, their remains, and the cars rammed to a halt road-warrior-style are mostly all visible in this satellite view I hear is from August 29. So I added translucency on these layers to see where they tend to be pre-marked for me. I will re-do this after some time to get more info, if that seems worthwhile.
First note, tip to Felix: Victims 19 and 20, side-by-side, are shown on the 24th, by Al Jazeera's video of that day (0:20). These are the only two corpses I've yet seen shown ... actually I'm not sure they were seen on the 25th as well. Will need to look into that...Otherwise we still seem to have two distinct batches, one for each day. And the maggots seen on victims #11 and 12 don't grow overnight.
Next note, Dec. 8: As Petri points out, I had some things wrong I fixed above and at least one other I didn't. The "prominent green flags" in the southeast corner are set wrong. As the Al Jazeera Aug 24 video and the graphic one clarify the flags are atop the flag poles curving right by victims #17 and 18, just north of the medical tents. That's the first thing I'll change for the final version.