Tripoli: The remains of more than 1,700 prisoners executed in 1996 at Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim jail have been found in a mass grave in the capital, a National Transitional Council spokesman said on Monday.
   
"We found the place where all these martyrs were buried," said Khalid Sharif, spokesman of the NTC's military council, adding it was proof of "criminal acts" by the regime of deposed despot Muammar Gaddafi.
   
Salim al-Farjani, a member of the committee set up to identify the remains, appealed for international help.
   
"We call on foreign organisations and the international community to help us in this task of identifying the remains of more than 1,700 people," said Farjani.
   
"We were invited to visit the place where the corpses of the prisoners at Abu Salim were found, where we saw scattered human bones," he said.
   
Farjani also referred to "egregious acts committed against dead bodies, on which acid was poured to eliminate any evidence of this massacre."
   
Sharif said the task of identifying the remains would "require some time."
   
International rights groups had for years urged Gaddafi's regime to come clean about the fate of prisoners killed at the jail during a 1996 riot.
   
The first demonstrations in Libya, which finally ousted Gaddafi, erupted in February in Benghazi, when families of Abu Salim victims called for protests against the arrest of their
lawyer.

(Agencies)