A child was reported killed and up to 30 others including children injured when a shell landed in a square in the Mansheya area of Sabha where a group of people were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Libyan revolution on February 16th/17th. Some of those injured remain in a critical condition.
Sabha News reported that a mortar fell on the house of Mohammed Zaidan Al-Shayeb and caused injuries. Libya Observer identified the victim as the 10-year-old Abd al-Rahman al-Abed. It mentioned that others were also injured including two children who are in a critical condition.
Sabha News posted an image of the child in the hospital after a five hour surgery to remove shrapnel out of his body and fix his broken jaw. It referred to him as the brother of martyr child Abdelrahman Al-Abed.
At first the number of injured was reported as nine. The spokesman for the Sebha Security Directorate, Hussein Al-Naem, confirmed in a phone call to 218 TV that the number of injuries exceeded nine when the mortar shell fell in the Mansheya neighborhood, near Al Namla popular market. Libya Observer said 15 were injured, but later @LibyanCW said 30 people were injured in the attack.
Three of those injured were transferred to Tripoli due to the lack of specialized medical personnel in Sabha. Those with light injuries received first aid and treatment within the general care and surgery departments according to 218 TV.
The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) condemned the attack. The commission said “Children are not a target, and they must be protected at all times, wherever they are. All sides must refrain from attacks on civilian infrastructure.” The attack was also condemned by the UN mission in Libya.
The source of the shell remains unknown and local sources didn’t accuse any part of the responsibility. The spokesman for the Municipal Council, Sabha Osama al-Wafi said that this attack is under investigation by the security and the military directorate.
No further information is available at the moment.
The incident occured during the night.
Reports of the incident mention a square being struck in the vicinity of Al Namla Market (سوق النملة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Namla Market are: 27.037854, 14.422075.