Rivals battling in Libya's eastern oil region have reportedly carried out summary executions, torture and other violations, the UN said today, as a military strongman launched a fresh assault in the area. The two main groups fighting for control of Libya's oil terminals are the Islamist Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by strongman Khalifa Haftar. There are "serious allegations" that the Benghazi group executed two LNA fighters in the Ras Lanouf medical centre amid clashes on March 3, the United Nations human rights office said in a statement. The UN has also received reports of LNA fighters raiding the homes of presumed Islamist supporters in the region, arresting and detaining children and taking hostages. "We have received reports that those detained have been subjected to torture," the statement said. The Benghazi Islamists captured the Ras Lanouf and Al-Sidra oil sites from Khalifa's forces earlier this month. Khalifa's forces mounted an offensive to retake the terminals earlier Tuesday, in the latest violence marring a country plagued by years of violence and lawlessness since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Speaking to reporters after the LNA was underway, rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the UN was "deeply alarmed" that continuing battles in the area would see "further human rights abuses against civilians.
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