Between five and six civilians were allegedly killed by a NATO airstrike on Bani Walid.
A Human Rights Watch investigation found: “During the night of August 29 or the early morning of August 30, 2011, NATO aircraft struck two adjacent homes belonging to Fathi Abdulsalam Jfara and his son Farid Fathi Jfara in the town of Bani Walid, 170 kilometers southeast of Tripoli. The attack killed five members of the family—two men, two woman and one girl—and wounded another girl.
Human Rights Watch obtained copies of the medical reports for all five victims issued by Bani Walid General Hospital, which listed the date of death as August 30. The causes of death were a variety of traumatic injuries, including a fractured skull and internal bleeding. Human Rights Watch also obtained copies of the five death certificates, which put the date of death for each person as August 30 and the cause of death as ‘NATO strike.'”
The NGO interwieved one of the family member of those killed in the attack: “A few seconds before, the family was sitting and chatting together. And then it went quiet. I started running away from the area. People expected they would strike the whole neighborhood; children, women, everyone started evacuating the area. I was crying and asking people for help, ‘My family is dead! My family is dead!’
According to Farid Jfara and other witnesses, the electricity was out in the area, so neighbors brought cars with headlights to search for the wounded and dead. He said:
‘We first found three bodies: my father, my mother and brother Fadel. Their bodies flew 25 meters from the porch to the outside. We didn’t see them immediately. We were looking under the wreckage. And they found my little sister Farah lying by my house. Our homes are seven meters apart. Some of her limbs had flown off and her organs had flown out too.’
Someone heard a sound of my sister Fairuz—a faint, high-pitch scream from under the rubble. I was traumatized by what happened, so I was crying by the main door, but I heard someone shooting into the air and crying, ‘She is alive! She is alive!’ so I tried to get to her. They stopped me and kept me away.
The wounded girl, Fairuz Fathi Jfara, 15, suffered head wounds and is recovering from difficulties with her speech and hearing, family members said.”
In an apparent contradiction to Farid Jfara’s statement which said the strike hit at 3.30am “Human Rights Watch interviewed four neighbors, three of whom said the attack took place at 8 p.m. on August 29. All of them said they lived in a residential neighborhood that had not seen military activity.”
Mustafa Al Fitouri also reported five deaths from the Jfara family.
Libya24 and Bani Walid Blogger reported and additional death.
NATO on that day declared striking “2 Command and Control Node, 1 Military Ammo Storage Facility” near Bani Walid.
The incident occured between 3:30 am and 8:00 pm local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (6)
- Fathi Abdul Salam Jfara 55 years old male killed
- Afiya Ali Al-Ghazzali Mohamed 51 years old female killed
- Fadwa Fathi Abdulsalam Jfara 30 years old female killed
- Fadel Fathi Abdulsalam Jfara 23 years old male killed
- Farah Fathi Abdulsalam Jfara 9 years old male killed
- Fairuz Fathi Jfara 15 years old female killed
- Salah Mas’oud Adult male killed
Sources (18) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the house of Jfara family (جفارة) being struck, within the city of Bani Walid (زليتن), the exact location of which has been published by Human Rights Watch. The exact coordinates are: 31.738333, 13.995833.
NATO forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
In the vicinity of Bani Walid: 2 Command and Control Node, 1 Military Ammo Storage Facility.