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Fearful of rebellion, the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, has a history of using outside fighters.

Packed together in makeshift holding cells in the country’s third largest city are dozens of men, all suspected mercenaries trying to uphold Gaddafi’s regime.

Anti-government forces who have taken control of Al-Bayda say most of the group are from Chad.

Although some of those who agreed to speak on camera denied being involved in any sort of militia.

“We were in a convoy looking for work. Someone told us there were free flights to Tripoli and suddenly we found ourselves here after being dropped off at the airport,” said Taheer Issa.

Not all, however, have had an opportunity to plead for their defence. In some areas, people have taken the law into their own hands with devastating and bloody results.

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