Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

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

Incident Code

Lib2011-045

Incident date

March 22, 2011

Location

بنغازي‎, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.112582, 20.082151 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between six and eight civilians were reported injured after a US aircraft crashed near Benghazi. It is unclear whether they were wounded by gunfire, or a subsequent airstrike in an attempt to save the crew.

The Telegraph wrote: “US officials insisted that rescue crews did not fire their weapons when retrieving the pilot, contesting media reports that a squad of Marines came in with ‘all guns blazing’ and wounding several civilians.

The pilot and his weapons officer bailed out of their F-15E Strike Eagle fighter over Benghazi when it became crippled by a mechanical fault during a bombing raid on Monday night. The two crewmen became split up when they parachuted to the ground.

“Military commanders decided to dispatch four US Marine Harriers from the USS Kearsarge, off the Libyan coast, when they spotted armoured vehicles approaching the location where the pilot landed. The Harrier pilots dropped two 500lb bombs on the vehicles.”

The Telegraph added: “The apparent contradiction in the accounts suggested that the Libyan villagers may have been injured not by small arms gunfire but shrapnel from the two bombs. It was reported on Tuesday night that eight people were injured in the incident, which is now subject to an investigation by the USAAF.”

The Daily Mail said six people were injured by gunfire in the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)
  • Another image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)
  • Another image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Benghazi (بنغازي‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.112582, 20.082151. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-044

Incident date

March 20, 2011

Location

سرت‎, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.190547, 16.571441 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A “large number” of civilians was reported killed in NATO airstrikes on Sirte, according to the Gaddafi regime.

Mohamed Abd El Rahman reported on Facebook that “the Libyan regime said that the coalition launched raids on Tripoli and Zuwara and Misurata (west) and Sirte since Saturday and targeted Sirte on Monday, especially the airports, which led to the death of ‘a large number of civilians’.”

Another source only mentioned British airstrikes on Sirte, but made no mention of civilian harm.

According to independent monitors, numbers of civilian casualties reported by the Gaddafi regime were significantly inflated throughout the NATO intervention.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Sirte (سرت), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.190547, 16.571441. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-042

Incident date

March 20, 2011

Location

البوابة الرشقية ألجدابيا, Ajdabiya’s eastern gate, Al Wahat, Libya

Geolocation

30.769320, 20.261783 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were killed by Gaddafi forces artillery shelling in Ajdabiya, according to an Amnesty International report.

The investigation noted: “Among [those killed] were 67-year old Miftah al-Tarhouni, and his 36-year-old son Mohammad, who were killed on 20 March near Ajdabiya’s eastern gate when their car was hit by a projectile – seemingly a rocket or an artillery shell. His son Adam told Amnesty International: ‘They were blown to pieces. We did not find their bodies, only shreds of flesh. They had set out to look for me in Zwaytinah, where I work. I got stuck there after al-Gaddafi’s forces invaded the area the week before.

‘In the meantime my family had fled Ajdabiya on 18 March, after the town was shelled the previous day. They went to take shelter in the desert to the south of the city, with many other families. The telephone network in the area had been cut off and we could not call each other. My father was worried about me and on Sunday [20 March] he decided to go to Zwaytinah to see me. As they passed near Ajdabiya’s east gate they were killed by a missile.'”

The investigation concluded: “In the cases mentioned above, and many others, the testimonies of survivors and witnesses and the details they and others provided concerning the positions of the two sides, al-Gaddafi forces and opposition fighters, at the time of the attacks strongly indicate that the projectiles were fired by al-Gaddafi forces.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

67 years old male killed
36 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Image of Miftah and Mohammed Al-Tarhouni, allegedly killed by Gaddafi forces artillery shelling on Ajdabiya on March 20th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention Ajdabiya’s eastern gate (البوابة الرشقية ألجدابيا), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.769320, 20.261783. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-043

Incident date

March 20, 2011

Location

البوابة الرشقية ألجدابيا, Petrol station in the vicinity Eastern gate of Ajdabiya, Al Wahat, Libya

Geolocation

30.769320, 20.261783 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On February 22nd, 2011, unknown actors killed one civilian and injured another near Ajdabiya, both of the al-Sheikhi family. Ruqaya ‘Abdelghani al-Sheikhi, a 34 year old teacher, was shot and died after being taken to the hospital.

Amnesty states “it has not always been possible to establish whether the people killed or injured were deliberately targeted, or were the victims of indiscriminate or reckless fire, or were caught in the crossfire. In some cases, it has not even been possible to establish whether the shots were fired by al-Gaddafi forces or opposition fighters.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

34 years old female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a petrol station in the vicinity of Ajdabiya’s eastern gate (البوابة الرشقية ألجدابيا) Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ajdabiya’s eastern gate are: 30.769320, 20.261783.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-038

Incident date

March 19, 2019

Location

قاعدة طرابلس وبنغازي ومصراتة وسرت والوطية الجوية, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sirte and Al Watyah airbase, Libya

Geolocation

31.155680, 16.555218 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between 48 and 64 civilians were killed during the first day of NATO airstrikes in Libya, according to Gaddafi regime media. However, these numbers are heavily contested by non-partisan sources.

Doualia wrote at the time: “Air strikes on several Libyan cities killed 48 people and wounded 150 in ‘civilian areas,’ a statement on Libyan state television said.”

The Telegraph contested these numbers in its own reporting: “Libyan officials said that 64 ‘martyrs”‘ had been hit in the attacks and that the coaltion had targeted military facilities protected by civilians as well as civilian buildings. However claims by one top Gaddafi aide that the hospital and ambulances were filling up were left unsubstantiated.

Security forces reportedly refused to allow journalists access to hospitals or morgues. One woman who had accessed a hospital in Tajoura, a suburb of Tripoli where an anti-aircraft battery was blown up, said nursing staff were preparing beds for wounded but that none had turned up.

Eyewitness said the likelihood of casualties at another target – Mitika airbase in Tripoli – was also low. No ambulance arrived or left the base hours after the hit.”

The Telegraph added: “State television show thousands of human shields congregating at potential targets across the country, including Col Gaddafi’s headquarters in central Tripoli. Tents have been set up around the concrete walls of the heavily defended compounds. Aides continued to bus thousands of loyalists, who were provided with money, food and soft drink, to act as human shields at airports, government buildings and military installations across Libya.”

On this day, NATO strikes were officially reported in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sirte and on the Al Watiyah airbase.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    48 – 64
  • Civilians reported injured
    150
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the cities of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), Benghazi (بنغازي‎), Sirte (سرت‎), Misurata (مصراتة), and the Al Watiyah Airbase (الوطية الجوية). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these locations are: 31.155680, 16.555218.

  • Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    48 – 64
  • Civilians reported injured
    150
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-040

Incident date

March 19, 2011

Location

الدولار, Dollar, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.110714, 20.124550 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, one of them a child, were allegedly killed by Gaddafi forces artillery shelling on the Hay Dollar neighbourhood of Benghazi.

An Amnesty International field investigation found: “The renewed attacks were even more vicious as the rockets used were packed with small metal balls intended to maximize injury and damage. Grad rockets packed with ball bearings were also fired into Benghazi’s south-western neighbourhood of Hay Dollar in the morning of 19 March, when al-Gaddafi forces had tried to re-enter Benghazi hours before the first NATO airstrikes.

“Among those killed by cluster sub-munitions was 12-year-old Hsein Mohammed Zoubi, who was hit in the afternoon of 11 April while he was playing in the garden of the place where he and his family were sheltering. His father told Amnesty International: “Hsein was playing with other children when the explosions happened and he was killed. One of the other children was injured and a young Algerian man who was also staying here, Wardi Ibn al-Saad, was injured and died on the way to hospital.”‘

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Hsein Mohammed Zoubi
12 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighborhood of Dollar (الدولار) in the city of Benghazi (بنغازي), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.110714, 20.124550. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighborhood of Dollar (الدولار) in the city of Benghazi (بنغازي).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-039

Incident date

March 19, 2011

Location

الزاوية‎, Zawiya, Libya

Geolocation

32.759709, 12.732495 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

An elderly Palestinian woman was allegedly killed by Gaddafi forces shelling on Zawiya.

According to Palestine Book : “The martyrdom of the elderly Palestinian Alamiya Al-Kamoudi, 71 years old, and the wounding of her brother and his wife (residing in Libya), from Al-Bureij camp in the Gaza Strip, as a result of indiscriminate bombing by Gaddafi forces of citizens’ homes in Al-Zawiya city in Libya.”

Alaa Zaghir and Gaza Youth also reported her death but did not mention additional injuries.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Alamiya Al-Kamoudi
71 years old female killed
Brother of Alamiya Al-Kamoudi
Adult male injured
Sister in law of Alamiya Al-Kamoudi
Adult female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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.
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Zawiya (الزاوية‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.759709, 12.732495. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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.
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-041

Incident date

March 19, 2011

Location

مصراتة‎, Misrata, Libya

Airwars assessment

On March March 19th 2011, forces loyal to Gaddafi bombed the town of Misurata with either airstrikes or artillery shelling, which resulted to up to 50 civilians killed and 84 wounded.

Al Bayan reported that 25 people were killed and 70 wounded during the bombing by the Libyan leader’s forces in the city of Misurata, which at that time was controlled by the armed opposition. Protesters and residents in the town of Misrata said forces loyal to Gaddafi bombed the town with heavy weapons. Tariq, a doctor from Misrata who lives in Britain, said. “There is heavy bombing in the town. They cannot send any ambulances. They [locals] believe it is artillery and tank shelling, not airstrikes. It is very worrying.”

The attack began hours after the UN Security Council decided to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and launch military attacks on Gaddafi forces to protect civilians, and before Tripoli announced any cessation of military operations.

According to @abanidrees, “The death toll from Misurata was more than 50 martyrs and 84 wounded as a result of the violent bombardment by the Gaddafi forces, quoting an eyewitness to Al-Jazeera English”

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25 – 50
  • Civilians reported injured
    70–84
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Gaddafi Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25 – 50
  • Civilians reported injured
    70–84
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]