Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

LC118

Incident date

April 16, 2019

Location

أبو سليم, Abu Salim, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.842957, 13.171578 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Between three and six civilians were allegedly killed by indiscriminate LNA artillery shelling on the Abu Salim neighbourhood of Tripoli.

The Libya Observer said a Filipino worker was killed by shelling.

Field medicine and support center (FMSC) counted three dead and 11 injured.

GNA media wrote the shelling “resulted in the death of three women and one man, and more than 26 wounded, 7 of them with intensive care, four of them amputated, most of these injuries in the neighborhood of Abu Salim, and Salahuddin.”

Al Khal reported the death of the family of Sassi Abu Qusaiha, including mother, two daughters and grandmother.

OCHA reported six people, four of them women, dead “in heaviest shelling since eruption of clashes in Tripoli.”

The Municipal Council of Abu Salim later published a statement saying that “Civilian death toll rises to 7 after death of young man Ali Mohammed Al-Mabrouk, 22 years old, resident of Al-Nasr neighborhood, as a result of the indiscriminate bombing of yesterday night.”

On April 22 the Municipal Council added that Mohammed Ahmed Qashat Al-Zanati died from injuries sustained in the incident.

Though sources apportioned blamed to the LNA for the shelling it later condemned indiscriminate shelling in the outskirts of Tripoli.

Amnesty International later published a detailed report on the incident, saying: “On the night of 16 April, residents reported a number of rocket attacks in Hay al-Intissar. One eyewitness said five rockets struck five different homes – killing four women and one man, and injuring a young girl. The girl was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but survived.”

An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International later said: The rockets used in this strike on the Abu Salim neighbourhood are notoriously inaccurate. They cannot be aimed precisely at specific targets and should therefore never be used in populated residential areas. Those who launched these strikes would have known that the likelihood of harming civilians was very high. International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks (attacks which are not directed at a specific military objective), as well as attacks which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective. Launching an indiscriminate attack resulting in death or injury to civilians constitutes a war crime.

It also quoted one victim’s brother: “We were 13 people in the house when the rocket struck. Noureddine was upstairs with his wife and their three children and I was downstairs with my family and my parents and siblings. My brother was hit directly; his head and abdomen were split open and had other injuries in his arms and legs. He died instantly. I was only a few meters away from him but was not injured. It could have been me in his place, or anyone else from the family. There is no way of knowing where these rockets will strike and so there is nothing one can do to protect himself and his family. It is terrifying every time we hear shelling and we live with that fear all the time”

The report further states that all residents interviewed by Amnesty International believed the LNA conducted the attack.

The family of Mufida Sasi Abu Gasiah later filed a lawsuit against LNA leader Khalifa Haftar stating: “45. On April 16, 2019, Haftar and his forces launched missiles into the civilian
neighborhood of Hay Alintassar in Trippoli in which Mufida Sasi Abu Gasiah, her
mother, sister, and young daughter lived.
46. Defendant knew that there were numerous civilians living in this neighborhood. He
knew that there were women and children present.
47. Yet without any regard for human life, Defendant Haftar still launched missiles into
the Hay Alintassar, Trippoli.
48. Mufida Sasi Abu Gasiah, along with her mother, sister, and young daughter, lived on
Tariq Al Matar road in the neighborhood of Hay Alintassar, Trippoli.
49. Mufida Sasi Abu Gasiah, her mother and sister were all killed by the missile strike on
April 16, 2019.

Plaintiff Mais Ahmed Mayouf was the only survivor of the brutal attack. She was
taken to the hospital for observations but was then released.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Aziza Omar Ghuma 68 years old female Mother killed
  • Karima Abu Qse’aa 51 years old female Daughter killed
  • Mufida Sasi Abu Gasiah 54 years old female Daughter killed
  • Ali Mohammed Al-Mabrouk 22 years old male killed
  • Mohammed Ahmed Qashat Al-Zanati 23 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (3–4 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11–26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Pictures of victims allegedly injured or killed in the shelling
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    More pictures of alleged victims
  • More pictures from the incident
  • A house allegedly damaged by shelling
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    More pictures from the incident

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Abu Salim (أبو سليم), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.842957, 13.171578. 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 Abu Salim (أبو سليم).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (3–4 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11–26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)

Sources (20) [ collapse]