* Reports of unlawful killings, hostage-taking, torture
* Oil Crescent violence has flared since March 3
* UN fears abuse against civilians as fighting escalates
GENEVA, March 14 Fighting in Libya's oil
coastline region this month has been marked by human rights
violations while attacks are likely to worsen in coming days,
U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Tuesday.
"Credible reports suggest that unlawful killings, including
summary executions, hostage-taking, arbitrary detentions,
torture, as well as widespread raids of civilian homes have been
occurring, particularly in the towns of Ajdabiya, Benghazi,
Brega and Beishir," she told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.
The violence has flared since March 3 when the Benghazi
Defence Brigade (BDB) attacked the "oil crescent" area, between
the ports of Ras Lanuf and Brega, while the Libyan National Army
responded with air strikes.
The U.N. received allegations of the summary execution of
two LNA fighters in the Ras Lanuf medical centre on March 3,
followed by LNA raids on homes of BDB supporters.
The allegations were credible and the victims were
reportedly shot in the head, Shamdasani said.
LNA fighters detained more than 100 men and boys as young as
13 during the subsequent raids, as well as stealing money and
beating and insulting residents, according to the latest
information provided to the U.N.
"We have received reports that those detained have been
subjected to torture and threats," Shamdasani said, adding many
families have no information on the whereabouts of their male
relatives, who are being held incommunicado.
Shamdasani said the U.N. was deeply alarmed that LNA
fighting might escalate, leading to further human rights abuses
The LNA launched a ground offensive on Tuesday to recapture
the oil port of Ras Lanuf, one of two terminals they lost
control of earlier this month, a senior military official said.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Julia Glover)