Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
Libya
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

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 Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

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.

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

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.

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC099

Incident date

November 29, 2018

Location

العوينات, Al Uwaynat, Ghat, Libya

Geolocation

25.772877, 10.558719 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Eleven civilians were reported killed as a result of a US airstrike near Al Uwaynat. The event marks the biggest single allegation of civilian harm against the United States in Libya so far.

Initial reports had indicated that the US had targeted Al Qaeda members with a precision strike near the town in the south of Libya. AFRICOM confirmed the strike a days later saying that “U.S. Africa Command conducted a precision airstrike near Al Uwaynat, Libya, November 29, 2018, killing eleven (11) al-Qa’ ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorists and destroying three (3) vehicles.” It added that “at this time, we assess no civilians were injured or killed in this strike.”

On December 2nd, however, SITE Intelligence group reported that “Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), al-Qaeda’s branch in Mali, reportedly rejected the claim by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) that its airstrike in Libya killed 11 al-Qaeda members, alleging instead that the victims were Tuaregs with no connection to the group.”

Two days later protests by Tuaregs in Al Uwaynat followed, claiming those killed in the attack where civilian tribespeople. The Libya Observer wrote: “Members of the Tuareg community gathered in Ubari town in southwestern Libya to condemn in the strongest terms the airstrike conducted by US Africa Command (AFRICOM) near Awaynat town last Thursday, which killed 11 people; AFRICOM claimed they were al-Qaeda militants.

The protesters accused AFRICOM of killing 11 innocent people under the pretext of terrorism and without any evidence substantiating their guilt, denouncing what they described the defamation and the media disinformation campaign against the martyrs of the ‘horrific Awaynat massacre,’ in reference to those killed in the airstrike.

Banners were raised against AFRICOM, accusing it of killing innocent people on charges of terrorism and rejecting the killing and exterminating of Tuareg ‘via phone calls’.

The protesters called on the Attorney-General and the Interior Ministry to open an investigation into the attack to determine the facts and circumstances.

In a statement issued during the stand, the tribe members demanded in the name of the persons entitled to claim retaliation and in the name of Tuareg Tribe elders and dignitaries, the Presidential Council, the House of Representatives, and the High Council of State to open an impartial international and local investigation in what they called the ‘Awaynat massacre’ in no more than 48 hours, warning to step up their protest if their demands were not met.”

In addition, the article said that the “statement insisted that the victims included civilians and military personnel, among them, was a field commander in Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous, who fought terrorism in Sirte to offer his country security and stability.”

The statement also described the convoy that was bombed to have been “on its way to rescue a group of Tuareg, near the Algerian border, who were encountering a smuggling gang attempting to smuggle heavy machinery to Algeria.”

Rpoh Libya posted a video of Moses Tony on Facebook, allegedly showing him fighting ISIS in Sirte. The post says he was killed in the “unprovoked” strike.

A Facebook post by “No to the Brotherhood and extremists in Libya” says that Issa Mousi Ahmed Malik Taraki was killed “in an airstrike carried out by AFRICOM by unmanned aerial vehicles, which targeted three four-wheel-drive vehicles belonging to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) while they were in the area of Wadi Filalin-Awainat, north of Ghat.

However, there are voices from the Tuareg tribes refusing that the targeted group is linked to Al-Qaeda (Sahel and Sahara), led by the Algerian leader Jamal Akasha and the Meccan Yahia Abualhamam, and that this group was fighting ISIS in Sirte.”

Responding to a second request about the incident by Airwars, AFRICOM stated: “At this time, we still assess that no civilians were injured or killed as part of the Nov. 29 air strike.

However, we are aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from the Nov. 29 airstrike near Al Uwaynat.
As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will then determine the next appropriate step.
USAFRICOM complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimise civilian casualties and other collateral damage.”
Al Jazeera later published an article with the names of the remaining victims, again quoting locals saying none of them were members of Al Qaeda.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Issa Mossa Ahmed Malik 25 years old male Student killed
  • Mossa Alah Toni Mohammed 34 years old male Soldier killed
  • Ibrahim Olma 32 years old male Soldier killed
  • Soti 45 years old male Soldier killed
  • Naser Mossa Waresmet Abdullah 34 years old male Soldier killed
  • Al-Mahmoud Ayoub Ibrahim 37 years old male Soldier killed
  • Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim al-Saghiar 30 years old male Soldier killed
  • Ahmed Kober Ahmed al-Khadir 28 years old male Soldier killed
  • Eyad Mohammad Aghali Mohammed 25 years old male Civilian killed
  • Jumma Agraib Shukri Adult male killed
  • Ahmed Omla Mohammed Fono 30 years old male Soldier killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 11
  • (11 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Images of the aftermath of the attack
  • A picture allegedly showing smoke rising in the desert after the attack
  • Another image of the scorched car (via Al Marsad)
  • Another image of the scorched car (via Al Marsad)
  • Another image of the scorched car (via Al Marsad)
  • Images showing the protest after the attack and the statement issued by the Tuareg
  • More images of the protests
  • Issa Mousi Ahmed Malik Taraki
  • Poster from the demonstration saying: "AFRICOM forces kill our sons under the so-called War on Terror" (via Libya's Channel)
  • Banner from the demonstration showing the names and ages of the victims (via Al Jazeera)

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 11
  • (11 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC072

Incident date

May 21, 2017

Location

الجفرة‎, Jufra, Libya

Geolocation

29.203056, 16.0025 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Several local sources reported LNA strikes near Jufra air base. One source mentioned two killed GNA fighters.

Other sources claimed that 21 fighters belonging to a militia from Benghazi and the Chadian opposition got killed and 30 more got injured.

Marwan Dirgash reported that the airstrike led to “many civilian casualties” but didn’t give an exact number.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC035

Incident date

July 8, 2016

Location

درنة‎, Shneib building, Derna, Libya

Geolocation

32.768611, 22.646111 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Between one and 10 civilians died and up to nine more were wounded in alleged LNA airstrikes on residential areas of Derna, local sources said.

Arabi 21 put the death toll at one, reporting that “a civilian was killed and eight wounded on Saturday in an air strike on a plane belonging to retired Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar on the eastern city of Derna. The Al-Karama operation carried out three air strikes on civilian sites in the city, one of which targeted the residential building of Shneib and ambulances transporting the wounded”.

Human Rights Watch also put the death toll at one – with nine more wounded.

However, Ean Libya put the death toll much higher, claiming “at least 10 civilians killed” in “four raids by the Al-Karama air force on residential neighbourhoods, resulting in serious damage to buildings”.

Bombings on that day took place from multiple aircraft near the police station square, the port area and the Shneib building according to the LNA itself – the latter where the civilians most likely were killed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–9
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Translation: Photos of the bombing of the aircraft of the criminal Haftar for a residential building, police station square and Derna port in the explosive barrel this morning resulted in 7 civilian casualties There is no power but from God (Source: Alrased journalist)

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–9
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC042

Incident date

September 20, 2016

Location

سوكنة, Sokna, Jufra, Libya

Geolocation

29.755, 15.241389 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians were reportedly killed in an airstrike in the vicinity of Ninah Agricultural Project near Sokna. Multiple outlets including the Libyan Observer reported seven dead and at least four wounded.

Alsdaa Alibya listed six women and one child among the victims, naming them in a Facebook post.

The sources claim that the strike came from a GNA affiliated militia, either Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous or Misurata Air Force.
UNSMIL later reported that it had “documented 7 deaths and 3 injured at a health spring water part… including 6 women and 1 girl killed.”

Libya Herald reported that “some of the victims were visitors from Mizdah.”

Libya Al-Mostakbal quoted Juffra Mayor Fuad Al-Mahdi Rashid in a press statement saying that “an unknown warplane bombarded a gathering of families near an area called Nina Al-Azari Project in the municipality of Jufra, killing 7 women and injuring three others.”

Other sources, such as Alhayat, reported nine civilians dead and 20 others wounded near Hun, which is close to Sokna, but didn’t specify further on the location.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (1 child6 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA)

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Translation: This bombing of the aircraft of "Western European Misurata" on our people and this is the list of dead and wounded who died in the bombing of Nina near the city of Jafra (Source: @barga5050)
  • An image shows civilians bodies at the medical centre followed an alleged GNA airstrike on Jufra district (Source: Alwasat)
  • An image shows civilian car, attacked an alleged GNA airstrike on Jufra district (Source: Alwasat)
  • A video shows Al-Jafra tribes represented in the areas of Hoon, Ojla, Wadan, Zalah and al-Faqihah denounced the shelling of the Ninah agricultural project, which killed seven women and wounded six others, according to a statement issued by tribal representatives at the headquarters of the Hwanah tribe in Benghazi (Source: Libya Channel)

Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA)
  • Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (1 child6 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA)

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC151

Incident date

June 15, 2019

Location

تاجوراء‎, Tajoura: Tajoura Heart Hospital, Tripoli , Libya

Geolocation

32.877222, 13.396111 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Nine civilians were reported killed by LNA airstrikes on Tajoura, Tripoli, on June 15th.

Numerous sources initially cite the injuring of nine civilians in the airstrike, yet later sources, Business Standard and Xinhua, allege the death of nine civilians in the attack. Meanwhile, Athabat news state that nine civilians were wounded, and one killed in the airstrike.

Xinhua stated that of those killed, one was a child and two were women.

According to this source, “the air force of Libya’s eastern-based army on Saturday targeted a military store of the rival UN-backed government in the eastern part of the capital Tripoli, killing nine people and damaging a nearby hospital.”

Athabat News quoted Amin al-Hashimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in the National Reconciliation Government, stating that “the victims fell as a result of shrapnel scattered to a long distance,” also claiming that the camp that was targeted “was close to densely populated neighborhoods.”

Other sources reported the damaging of a hospital in the attack, with Libya Akhbar claiming that “the Tajoura heart hospital was severely damaged and that its windows were damaged by the bombing of the municipality.”

Business Standard stated that “fighting broke out between the LNA and GNA after Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in April to retake Tripoli. More than 90,000 people have been displaced ever since the fighting broke out, while over 650 people have lost their lives.”

An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International later concluded: “The apparent target was a GNA militia’s weapons depot in an adjacent compound, which was hit by another airstrike, causing a number of secondary explosions and a large fire. Fragments recovered by Amnesty International investigators at the scene of the strike on the civilian home confirm that the weapon was an unguided French SAMP 250kg bomb. This is a large explosive weapon, with a blast radius of over 600m, and therefore not an appropriate weapon to use in populated urban areas.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Marwa 24 years old female injured
  • Dhikra 21 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 9
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • The airstrike on Trajoura, Tripoli, on June 15th (via Hona Sog Al-Khmies Emsihel)
  • Image Caption Translation: "The head of the Crisis and Emergency Committee at the Ministry of Health of the Government of Al-Wefaq, Fawzi Onis, condemned the shelling of the municipality of Tajoura, which resulted in the injury of 9 wounded civilians in the area. Onis stressed that exposing civilians and hospitals to danger is a moral crime that violates all local and international laws and customs. He added that the Tajoura heart hospital was severely damaged and that its windows were damaged by the bombing of the municipality." (via Libyaakhbar News)
  • Caption translation: "9 civilians injured by the bombing of a military aircraft on the sites close to the Tatura heart hospital, according to the Ministry of Health Al-Wefaq, and also damaged the homes of civilians." (via Fada’eh lybia)

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 9
  • (1 child2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC049

Incident date

November 14, 2016

Location

قرضة, Qaradah, Wadi al Shatii, Libya

Geolocation

27.544167, 13.629444 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

France allegedly conducted airstrikes in Qaradah north of Sabha which killed Al Qaeda leader Abdul Muneim al-Hasnawi, also known as Abu Talha al-Libi and six other members of the organisation.

The mayor of the city, Hassen Matoug, contested the events on Facebook and claimed that up to eight civilians were killed in the attack. He named two of them as Ghaweel and Hamad al-Ghawail and mentioned a Palestinian woman and her son as being killed in the attack as well.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • A Palestinian woman female killed
  • The son of the Palestinian woman Adult male killed
  • Ghaweel Age unknown killed
  • Hamad al-Ghawail Age unknown killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    French Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Mohammed Qureysh shows the aftermath of the airstrike
  • Qaradah municipality gives a statement on the strike
  • France 24 reports on the airstrike
  • An image shows the targeted house which suspected where Abu Talha lives (via Alwasat)
  • Translation: the initial pictures that show the result of the airstrike on the civilian house in Gorda (Source: Libya Al Ahrar TV)

French Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    French Armed Forces
  • French Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    French Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC015

Incident date

March 24, 2015

Location

ترهونة, Tarhuna, Murqub, Libya

Geolocation

32.42818, 13.647327 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

An LNA airstrike reportedly hit a Libya Dawn camp in Tarhuna. While most sources reported no civilians and only a few Libya Dawn fighters dead, two sources said that eight internally displaced Tawergha were killed in the attack.

Middle East Eye quoted a Libya Dawn spokesperson: “Eight Libyan civilians died in the strike. Sadly this is their strategy, to kill civilians and claim to the international community that they are after weapons.”

According to Akhbar, a refugee camp was struck and not a weapons depot. The source reported that “a plane of Libyan-backed forces loyal to the Libyan government launched a raid on the town of Tarhouna near Tripoli, which it said targeted a weapons depot. But but the controlling government in the capital said it had hit a refugee camp and killed eight civilians.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Translation: Dozens of people were killed after the air force bombed the sites of Dawn of Libya in Tarhona (Source: @wady_dynar)
  • Translation: # Libya: Two people killed in aerial bombardment of aircraft # Haftar on the town of Tarhona southeast of # Tripoli (Source: @almokhtsar)

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]