Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

Lib2011-088

Incident date

May 4, 2011

Location

مخيم اللاجئين في قصر أحمد, Refugee Camp in Qasr Ahmed, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.344133, 15.198531 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

A family was reportedly killed by Gaddafi regime forces artillery shelling of Misurata.

Al Jazeera said at the time: “Libya’s revolutionaries said that yesterday’s bombing of the Gaddafi Brigades targeted the port of Misrata in western Libya, leaving at least five civilians dead, at a time when an official at the International Criminal Court spoke of documentation proving the occurrence of thousands of deaths in this country, amid Western calls to fund the rebels using frozen assets. The spokesman for the rebels, Jalal al-Jalal, speaking in Benghazi, said that the number of victims of the bombing of the Misrata port could be much greater.”

In a later report, Jazeera said seven civilians had been killed.

Reuters reported: “A rescue ship evacuated about 800 injured migrants, journalists, and Libyans from the port of Misrata, which witnessed heavy bombing operations, but was forced to leave quickly, leaving hundreds of desperate civilians behind.

The ship (Red Star One) carried out the sixth marine rescue mission assigned by the International Organization for Migration from the besieged city after it was prevented for five days by bombing operations and the presence of mines.

‘The head of the organization’s team on board the ship, Othman Belbeisi, said that hundreds of Libyan civilians also sought to board the ship in a desperate attempt to exit Misurata,’ the organization said in a statement.

The ship carried about 700 immigrants, about 20 journalists, and up to 50 injured Libyan civilians and their families from Misrata, the last major city in western Libya under the control of the opposition, which is under constant siege by forces loyal to the leader Muammar Gaddafi.

‘The heavy bombardment of Misurata, in addition to the mines that were laid, prevented the ship of the International Organization for Migration from berthing for five days,’ the statement said.”

A video of the aftermath was posted by miusrata17miusrata showing four body bags. The caption reads: “Filmed just after the attack on Qasr Ahmed on May 5. Refugee camp in the vicinity was also hit. An Nigerian family, 2 adults and 2 children, were killed”

Amnesty International later found: “Several migrants were killed as they waited at Misratah port to be evacuated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) when Grad rockets struck the temporary refugee camps where they were sheltering near the port.”

The NGO quoted one of the victims, Viva Emeka: “I was just at the port waiting for the ship to take us to safety, and holding my children, when an explosion rocked the port. I lost consciousness, and woke up to realize I lost everything.”

The father of the children was quoted saying: “Rockets exploded by our home so we fled and went to a Red Crescent tent camp near the port and were waiting for the IOM ship to evacuate us from Misratah. We were going to return to Nigeria, away from this war. It was 4 May and we had been waiting for the IOM ship for days when the rocket exploded near us.”

The incident occured at 12:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (2 children1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the aftermath of the incident
  • Viva Emeka, injured by Gaddafi forces shelling on Misurata on May 4th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)

Geolocation notes (5) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a refugee camp being struck in the vicinity of Qasr Ahmed (ميناء قصر أحمد). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to these exact coordinates: 32.344133, 15.198531.

  • Reports of the incident mention a refugee camp being struck in the vicinity of Qasr Ahmed (ميناء قصر أحمد). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the event down to an exact location.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Satellite imagery showing the distribution of buildings tagged in the material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged material from audio visual sources.

    Imagery:
    Freedom Group

  • Tagged material from audio visual sources.

    Imagery:
    Freedom Group

  • Tagged material from audio visual sources.

    Imagery:
    Freedom Group

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 7
  • (2 children1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (7) [ collapse]