TRIPOLI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Libya's eastern-based army on Monday accused the UN-backed government of migrant slave trade.
"The army command detected activity of organized crime of transporting and selling illegal immigrants from one gang to another, depending on area of control of each gang," the army said in a statement.
"These gangs transferred the slaves from the countries of their origin into Libya. More than a gang work with other gangs active in the sea to smuggle the migrants into Europe," said the statement.
"Local gangs legitimized by the Government of National Accord in western Libya, and other international gangs, are actively involved in horrific crimes against humanity by attacking migrants, violating their safety and health, and even selling their organs," the statement added.
The army warned against "continuation of such crimes," calling on the international community to lift the ban on arming its forces to "increase their capabilities to confront international crime, which the army considers an anti-terrorism effort."
CNN published a report recently of auctions in different parts of Libya, where stranded African migrants were sold as slaves for as little as 400 U.S. dollars.
The Tripoli-based Foreign Ministry on Sunday said that the government has launched an investigation into the report.