Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
Libya
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

LC110

Incident date

April 11, 2019

Location

السواني, Al Swani, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.712224, 13.072240 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Between one and 12 civilians were allegedly killed by indiscriminate shelling on Al-Swani.

Tripoli Now reported: “Indiscriminate shelling of innocent people and their homes in Al-Swani axis, which led to the death of two families. Another family was injured and 12 civilians were killed so far.”

Libya Alahrar TV said one civilian was killed in Al-Swani due to shelling by Haftar (LNA) forces. In a video piece it showed the impact of the shelling.

Sputnik News blamed the GNA on the other hand: “Indiscriminate shells targeted civilian homes in the area of ​​Al-Swani southwest of Tripoli by armed forces of the Government of National Accord. The witnesses said that ‘the shells fired indiscriminately on civilian houses in Al-Swani areas in the vicinity resulted in the injury of many civilians.'”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 12
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A man allegedly injured by the shelling (via Tripoli Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Another man allegedly injured by the shelling (via Tripoli Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Another man allegedly injured by the shelling (via Tripoli Now)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Another man allegedly injured by the shelling (via Tripoli Now)
  • Video showing the aftermath of the strike

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Al Swani (السواني), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.712224, 13.07224. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 12
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-131

Incident date

July 30, 2011

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Three journalists were reportedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

SBS News tweeted: “Three journalists have reportedly been killed in a NATO air strike while on state television in Libya.”

Uruknet wrote: “Libya says three journalists have been killed in a NATO air strike on state television, and that the murder of the rebels’ army chief proves al-Qaeda is instigating the country’s armed revolt.

‘Three of our colleagues were murdered and 15 injured while performing their professional duty as Libyan journalists,’ said Khaled Basilia, director of Al-Jamahiriya television’s English-language service.”

NATO later published a statement on the incident: “A few hours ago, NATO conducted a precision airstrike that disabled three ground-based Libyan state TV satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli. The strike, performed by NATO fighter aircraft using state-of-the art precision guided munitions, was conducted in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, with the intent of degrading Qadhafi’s use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them.

Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them. Qadhafi’s increasing practice of inflammatory broadcasts illustrates his regime’s policy to instill hatred amongst Libyans, to mobilize its supporters against civilians and to trigger bloodshed.

In light of our mandate to protect civilian lives, we had to act. After due consideration and careful planning to minimize the risks of casualties or long-term damage to television transmission capabilities, NATO performed the strike and we are now in the process of assessing its effect. Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while at the same time preserve television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict.”

Amnesty International wrote on that matter that it “did not have the opportunity to monitor and analyse the full content of Libyan state television broadcasts when it was under the control of Colonel al-Gaddafi, but the question of whether Colonel al-Gaddafi is using television broadcasts to instil hatred and mobilize its supporters is not the determining criteria for whether television transmitters are military objectives. The definition of military objective in Article 52(2) of Protocol I, which reflects customary IHL, specifies that ‘military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage#. Propaganda is not ‘an effective contribution to military action’ and it is difficult to consider that the destruction of the transmitters offers ‘an anticipated definite military advantage’.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Video report from Libyan state TV on the incident

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Mar 8, 2012
  • Transmission dishes belonging to Libyan State Television were deliberately targeted and destroyed to prevent their continued use to incite regime supporters to violence against civilians. This transmission station was a key element in broadcasting such incitement by regime leaders. Although the target had earlier been rejected because of the rhetoric broadcast over it did not at that time reach the threshold of incitement to violence, speeches made in early July reached a new level of intensity and focus. It should also be noted that the crimes against humanity (including murder and persecution) for which the International Criminal Court (ICC) had in late July indicted Col. Gaddafi and other senior regime members corresponded closely to the actions incited via the Libyan State Television transmission station. The target was struck at night, on a particular heading, to minimise any chance of injury to civilians. The dishes were targeted precisely and with low-intensity weapons to minimise the risk of collateral damage and to avoid broader disruption to the Libyan communications infrastructure. Battle damage assessment indicated that these precautions were fully successful in avoiding such injury or damage.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Anti-Aircraft systems

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC132

Incident date

April 29, 2019

Location

السواني, Al Swani, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.712224, 13.07224 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

One child was allegedly injured, likely because of indiscriminate artillery shelling on Al Swani.

218 TV reported: “The field medicine and support center announced that its medical team had treated a child injured as a result of armed clashes in the suburbs of Tripoli on Monday.

The center also announced in its Facebook page that its evacuation team had managed to provide a safe passage for a number of families from the Khallet al-Furjan area under the impact of the clashes.”

Local reports of fighting in the area point at the GNA or LNA as the perpetrator.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Picture of the alleged victim (via 218 TV)
  • Another picture of the alleged victim (via 218 TV)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Al Swani (السواني), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.712224, 13.07224. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC109

Incident date

April 10, 2019

Location

العزيزيه, Aziziyah, Jafara, Libya

Geolocation

32.530949, 13.019391 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A pregnant woman was allegedly killed between Tripoli and Aziziyah by indiscriminate shelling.

Al Mashhad Libya reported that “the border between Aziziyah and Tripoli witnessed violent clashes and a number of rocket-propelled grenades fell on the citizens’ homes, and a pregnant woman was killed when as a missile hit a house.”

Fighting in the area points at the GNA or the LNA as the perpetrator of the shelling.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the border of Tripoli (طرابلس‎) and Aziziyah (العزيزيه). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Aziziyah are: 32.530949, 13.019391.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-135

Incident date

August 5, 2011

Location

مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط, Mustafa Naji Al Morabit, Murqub, Libya

Geolocation

32.472842, 14.489344 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Two children and their mother were allegedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Zliten.

The Telegraph said: “Residents from the town said the strike happened just after 6am, killing brothers Mohammed, three, and Moataz, five, and their mother Ibtisam.

Moussa Ibrahim, Libyan government spokesman, accused Nato of bombing civilian targets frequently.

He said: In the city of Zlitan, you saw with your own eyes the dead bodies of small children and their mother, there are many other examples around the country.

‘Unfortunately we are only able to take you to some scenes of these crimes, these take place everyday, sometimes whole families are killed, sometimes individuals.’

The Ministry of Defence said it had carried out air strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday against buildings, staging posts and a tank being used by Gaddafi forces near Zlitan.”

NDTV reported on a possibly related strike in the area without mentioning civilian harm: “A senior Libyan government official has denied rebel reports that Moammar Gaddafi’s youngest son was killed in a NATO airstrike on the western town of Zlitan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim says Khamis Gaddafi is alive and spoke to Libyan government officials to confirm his well-being.”

An Amnesty International report later found: “On 4 August 2011 at about 6.30am the home of Mustafa Naji al-Morabit, in Zlitan west of Misratah, was struck, killing his 37-year-old wife, Ibtisam, and two of his three children, three-year-old Mo’taz and six-year-old Mohammed, as well as injuring his 60-year-old mother, Fatima ‘Omar Mansur. According to information provided by Mustafa Naji al-Morabit to Amnesty International, a nearby house (approximately 50 metersaway) had been used, until 1 August 2011, for meetings by military officers. Because they feared that the nearby house may be attacked by NATO, Mustafa Naji al-Morabit and his family had not been sleeping in their own home. They remained in the house during the day as it was common belief that NATO strikes were carried out at night. As opposition fighters were closing in on the area, the owner of the nearby house and others who had been meeting there fled by 2 August 2011, leaving the front gate wide open – a sign that they were not going to return. The al-Morabit family decided that it was therefore safe to return to their home and slept in their home for the first time on the night between 2 and 3 August 2011. The night passed without incident and the nearby house remained abandoned and the al-Morabit family again slept in their home the following night (between 3 and 4 August 2011), but the house was struck in the early hours of that morning.”

The NGO added: “In its 15 February 2012 letter to the ICIL, NATO referred to the above incident stating that the site was in fact struck on 4 August 2011, because it had been identified as ‘a senior regime commander’s command and control node located within a residential property’. Based on its examination of the site, interviews with witnesses and satellite images the ICIL found that ‘evidence suggests NATO hit the wrong building (and) that those killed were civilians’. Amnesty International reached the same conclusions.”

A Human Rights Watch investigation quoted the father saying: “Around 6:30 a.m., I heard an explosion, a terrible sound. I got up, and dust was falling all over; I couldn’t see in front of me. I was trying to reach my children and family, but I kept falling down. I reached the main road, and with the help of neighbors, we tried to lift the blocks and reach my family.

The first one we reached was my wife; we found her dead in her place. And then we got to my mother who was still alive, wounded in the left leg and right shoulder. Then we found [my son] Naji, who was alive. Mohamed, five years old, we found next to him still alive. I had no strength to continue and looked to others to save my family. They took Mohamed to the hospital, but he died before he got there; they say he suffocated from the dust. Then they found [my other son] Moataz, three years old. His brain was out of his head; I saw it. My house is demolished. My children are dead.”

The report added: “Al-Morabit and neighborhood residents initially said that no Gaddafi forces were in the area at the time of the attack. But in a subsequent interview on December 7, 2011, without the presence of a government minder, they said that the house next door had housed Gaddafi military personnel until August 2, two days before the attack. At the al-Morabit house itself, they said, they knew of no military equipment or personnel. A Human Rights Watch inspection of the house and yard on August 7 revealed no signs of military activity or material; however, evidence of a military target could potentially have been moved.

According to al-Morabit and two neighbors, interviewed separately, Libyan military personnel had used the large house next door to the al-Morabit house since late June. When the personnel moved into the house, al-Morabit said, he and his family began sleeping at his brother’s house, fearing a NATO attack in the area. He did not know how many military personnel and from which forces had moved into the neighboring house.”

NATO reported hitting “1 Military Radar Site, 1 Military Storage Facility” in Zliten on August 5th in its operational update.

The incident occured at approximately 6:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Destroyed Morabit family home in Zliten after NATO airstrike on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed Morabit family members after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed Morabit family members after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed and injured Morabit children after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The three victims of the the NATO strikes on the Morabit family home in Zliten on August 4th, 2011 (Youssef Shaftar)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the house of Mustafa Naji Al Morabit (مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط) being struck, within the city of Zlitan (زليتن), the exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch. The exact coordinates are: 32.472842, 14.489344.

  • Reports of the incident mention the house of Mustafa Naji Al Morabit (مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط) being struck, within the city of Zlitan (زليتن), the exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Under investigation
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Jan 8, 2012
  • This target had been identified as a regime senior commander’s command and control node, located within a residential property four miles west of Zlitan. At no time were civilians intentionally targeted. The target building and buildings immediately adjacent to it were used exclusively by senior regime commanders as an active command and control facility directing forces in the Zlitan area. The structure was positively identified and one precision guided weapon was dropped on 4 August. Review of intelligence confirms that the correct and intended building was struck, and assessment of the claimed civilian casualties at the time concluded that this was highly unlikely. This incident is under further assessment.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Zlitan: 1 Military Radar Site, 1 Military Storage Facility.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC124

Incident date

April 24, 2019

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reportedly injured by indiscriminate shelling on Tripoli.

The Center for Field Medicine and Support said that Dr. Mohammed Al-Khitouni was wounded when a shell dropped near his hospital. The page posted a picture of him recovering at the hospital.

Local reports of shelling point at the GNA or LNA as the perpetrator of the shelling.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Dr. Mohammed Al-Khitouni Adult male Doctor injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Picture of the alleged victim

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC107

Incident date

April 9, 2019

Location

خلة الفرجان, Khallet Al Furjan, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.795738, 13.217038 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One child has reportedly been killed in clashes in Tripoli.

Rahaf Mabrouk Ghoma was killed in the Khallet Al Furjan neighbourhood, according to Only Libya.

Other sources reported similar accounts.

It is unclear whether she was killed by an airstrike or gunfire. Fighting occured between GNA and LNA in the area at the time of the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Rahaf Mabrouk Ghoma Child female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Picture of the victim
  • Another picture of the victim (via Only Libya)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Khallet Al Furjan (خلة الفرجان), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.795738, 13.217038. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Khallet Al Furjan (خلة الفرجان).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-137

Incident date

August 8, 2011

Location

مجمعات قفوز وجرود السكنية, Gafuz and Jarud residential compounds, Murqub, Libya

Geolocation

32.374252, 14.577292 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Between 34 and 85 civilians were allegedly killed in NATO airstrikes on the Majer area of Zliten. The event marks the biggest reported loss of civilian life from NATO strikes during the first Libyan Civil War.

An Amnesty International field investigation found: “On the evening of 8 August 2011 two houses were struck in Majer (near Zlitan, west of Misratah). Munitions remnants found at the site contain the marking: ‘for MK82 bomb’, an air-delivered munition which, according to Amnesty International’s information, was used by participating forces in Operation Unified Protector in numerous other strikes. According to members of the family who survived the attack, 34 civilians, including eight children and eight women, were killed and several were injured in three separate attacks.”

A BBC story confirms the times given by Amnesty International: “For Libya’s government, what happened south of Zlitan in the village of Majar is proof that Nato, contrary to its mandate, is not protecting civilians. Officials believe the alliance is engaged in regime change, at whatever cost. Almost 48 hours after the first strike hit the cluster of buildings in the countryside to the south of Zlitan, Nato said it had completed its assessment of what happened. It confirmed it had hit the area, targeting four buildings and nine vehicles at the site between 23.33 on Monday and 02.34 on Tuesday. The times for the strikes correspond with those given by people in the area.”

Human Rights Watch reported the same number of casualties from its own investigation saying: “Beginning around 11:30 p.m. on August 8, 2011, during Ramadan, NATO aircraft dropped bombs on four houses in Majer, a rural village about 10 kilometers south of the town of Zliten. The first bomb hit a large, two-story house owned by Ali Hamid Gafez, a 61-year-old farmer. Gafez, his relatives and neighbors told Human Rights Watch that the house was crowded at the time with people who had fled the fighting in nearby areas, such as Dafniya, Zdow, and Naima, as well as Benghazi. A report prepared by the families of the victims said the Gafez house held 82 people on the night of the attack. They said the strike killed 14 of these people and wounded 17.”

It added: “Some moments after the first strike, NATO bombs hit two houses in a nearby compound belonging to the al-Jarud family. One of the bombs killed three women and a baby girl of the family, relatives and witnesses said. Family members and neighbors came rushing to help. Between 10 and 20 minutes later, another bomb struck just outside the al-Jarud compound. This bomb killed 18 men and wounded 15 others who had come to help. […] A fourth bomb then hit a nearby house owned by Mohamed Musbah al-Jarud, which was unoccupied at the time.”

The NGO further reported that “in the course of its investigation, including the day after the attack, Human Rights Watch found no evidence of military activity at either of the compounds, such as weapons, ammunition, or communications equipment that would have suggested a military target.”

On the munitions used, it said: “During its December 2011 visit, Human Rights Watch inspected remnants of the bombs that the families said had hit their homes, including fins from a GBU-12 laser guided bomb. These bombs use a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), a type of high-zoom night vision with an infrared camera and a laser designator to target the bomb, which would have allowed the pilot to guide the bombs to the target. Indeed, NATO told Human Rights Watch that it used precision-guided munitions in the strike, all of which reached their target.”

The Alma’em tribes condolence pages said: “There are also a large number of the wounded and the seriously injured, some of them who lost a limb and some who lost his vision, and among the injured are children, women and men who came to help children and women.”

The Majer Zliten Massacre condolence page put the death toll at 36 and the injuries at 38, most of them women and children.

Media close to the Gaddafi regime put the death toll at 85. Quoting Dr Moussa Ibrahim, Libyan Government Spokesperson in Majer Town at the time, these included 33 children, 20 men and 32 women. The BBC said on the numbers: “Civilians were injured – and it seems killed. The government says 33 of them were children. But they showed international journalists the bodies of just two.” For Libya’s then-government, what happened south of Zlitan in the village of Majar was claimed to be proof that Nato, contrary to its mandate, was not protecting civilians. Officials said they believed the alliance was engaged in regime change, at whatever cost.

Almost 48 hours after the first strike hit the cluster of buildings in the countryside to the south of Zlitan, Nato said it had completed its assessment of what had happened. It confirmed it had hit the area, targeting four buildings and nine vehicles at the site between 23.33 on Monday and 02.34 on Tuesday. It has never publicly accepted causing civilian harm in this event.

Airwars later spoke to the father of one of the victims for a joint investigation with Foreign Policy: “‘Then everything was black, we couldn’t see anything. After the smoke subsided it was clear the second floor was destroyed,’ Juwaili told Foreign Policy.
The men rushed forward, searching through the rubble for survivors. Fifteen minutes later, another strike killed many of the rescuers.
Juwaili hunted frantically for his 2-year-old daughter, Arwa, eventually finding her lifeless under the rubble. ‘Thank God her body was not ripped apart,’ he said.”

Another relative of a victim, interviewed for an article in Responsible Statecraft, told Airwars: “‘My message to NATO is that they have to come and witness the amount of destruction they left behind,’ Mariam Jaroud, whose sister lost a leg in the attack, told Responsible Statecraft. ‘Many of the families lost dear ones, others became orphans and we are still suffering.'”

The incident occured between 11:33 pm and 2:34 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    34 – 85
  • (8–33 children8–32 women18–20 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    32–38
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (47) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (28) [ collapse]

  • Pictures of alleged victims of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Alleged victim of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Pictures of alleged victims of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Alleged victim of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Pictures of alleged victims of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Pictures of alleged victims of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Alleged victim of NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Ahmed Muhammad al-Raqiq, allegedly killed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Children allegedly killed in NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Munition allegedly used in NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Victims allegedly killed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • Victims allegedly killed by NATO airstrikes in Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Zliten Majer Massacre)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • House allegedly destroyed by NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • Body bags at Zliten Hospital after NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)
  • Body bags at Zliten Hospital after NATO airstrikes on Majer on August 8th, 2011 (via Global Research)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes on residential compounds in the village of Majer (مــــاجر). The house of Gafuz (جافوز) at 32.374631, 14.574858, the house of Jarud (الحعرود) at 32.373767, 14.578633, and a third building of undisclosed owner ship at 32.37540, 14.57595 . The exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch. The generic coordinates between these three points are 32.374252, 14.577292.

  • Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes on residential compounds in the village of Majer (مــــاجر). The house of Gafuz (جافوز), the house of Jarud (الحعرود), and a third building of undisclosed ownership. The exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Under investigation
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Mar 8, 2012
  • The four buildings assessed in the questions relating to Majer were deliberate targets, based on their functioning as a troop staging area. They were located within a farm compound in a rural area. On the basis of observation and other intelligence, it was assessed that no civilians were in the area, and none were observed at the time of the attack or of the subsequent re-strike of one of those buildings. If civilians had been identified, standard procedure was to abort the drop or, if noticed after time of release, to direct a laser-guided weapon away from the target area. This incident is under further assessment.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Zlitan: 1 Military Facility, 1 Communications System.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    34 – 85
  • (8–33 children8–32 women18–20 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    32–38
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (47) [ collapse]