Picture: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Johannesburg - A Libyan Special Forces major has been accused of new summary executions of prisoners, after the International Criminal Court (ICC) recently issued an arrest warrant for him based on previous alleged war crimes.

There are unconfirmed reports of five recent summary executions in Ajdabiya in eastern Libya in which the Saiqa Special Forces major Mahmoud Warfali is suspected of involvement, the Libya Herald reported on Thursday.

Warfali is supposed to be in the custody of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which falls under the leadership of the renegade General Khalifa Haftar whose forces control parts of Eastern Libya.

There are two rival governments in Libya. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), under Prime Minister Sayez Al Farraj, is based in the capital Tripoli in the West and the House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk in the east. Haftar is loyal to the latter.

The ICC issued the arrest warrant for Warfali on August 17 based on videos showing the cold-blooded murder of 33 bound prisoners, in which the killer resembled Warfali.

After the ICC announced that it wanted Warfali handed over for trial in the Hague, the LNA said that following Haftar's orders Warfali had been arrested on August 2. 

The LNA also said that it was carrying out its own investigation into the summary executions. Last month an LNA source denied a rumour that Warfali had been released.

However, the Ajdabiya allegations include a sighting of Warfali in the town last night where he was said to be on a visit to LNA units in the Oil Crescent.