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Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians, rights group says
Libyan rebels taking position near the hill village of Kikla, during an offensive by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi on July 13, 2011.
July 13th, 2011
07:45 PM ET

Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians, rights group says

Zintan, Libya (CNN) - Libyan rebels have looted and burned homes and abused civilians, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that, in "four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces."

The accusations came as rebel forces inside Libya managed to retake a village from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi 's forces, and rebel leaders were in Europe meeting with NATO officials and the European Commission.

Mahmoud Jibril, chairman of the executive board of the opposition Transitional National Council, said the complaints represent only a "few incidents" that "took place in the very early days of the revolution, and we've been investigating those cases. We are against any human rights violation whomever is the source of those violations." Those responsible are "going to be brought to justice," he vowed.

Jibril spoke at a news conference after meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels, Belgium.

In the news release announcing the accusations, Human Rights Watch said its representatives had "witnessed some of these acts, interviewed witnesses to others, and spoke with a rebel commander about the abuses."

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