TRIPOLI – A mass grave believed to contain up to 1,270 bodies has been found in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, says the National Transitional Council (NTC) according to the BBC. The remains are thought to be those of inmates who were killed by security forces in 1996 in the Abu Salim prison. The uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi began as a protest to demand the release of a lawyer who represented families of the Abu Salim inmates. Excavation at the site is expected to start soon. The NTC said it had discovered the site – a desert field scattered with bone fragments within the grounds of the Abu Salim prison – by questioning prison guards who had worked there when the prisoners were kiled after protesting against their conditions. Several bone fragments and pieces of clothing have already been found in the top soil. Until recently, little was known about the circumstances in which the prisoners died. A few eyewitnesses have talked about the fact they were killed in their jail cells by grenades and sustained gunfire after a protest. Officials in the new government say they will need foreign forensic help to determine exactly what happened there.