Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

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

Incident Code

Lib2011-070

Incident date

April 20, 2011

Location

مصراتة, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.374457, 15.087794 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians were reported killed as a result of indiscriminate shelling on Misurata by Gaddafi forces. Among them were two internationally known photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.

The BBC reported: “Briton Tim Hetherington, 40, is said to have been killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. US photographer Chris Hondros, 41, was also killed, and two others, including Briton Guy Martin, were injured.”

A former colleague later said they were indeed killed by a mortar shell: “Sebastian Junger had planned to be along on that assignment. ‘At the last minute, I couldn’t go,’ he told Koppel. ‘Tim went on his own, and was hit with a fragment from an .81 mm mortar, the same mortar that killed Chris Hondros.'”

In a Vanity Fair article he reiterated the story: “Tim was 40 years old when he died and had devoted most of his professional life to documenting the human cost of war. On April 20, in a bombed-out section of Misrata, a single mortar shell made him part of the cost. He was hit in the groin with shrapnel and bled out in the back of a pickup truck while Guillermo Cervera, a Spanish photojournalist he had just met, held his hand and tried to keep him awake. Hours earlier, amidst fierce shelling by Qaddafi forces, Tim had sent what was to be his last message on Twitter: In besieged Libyan city of Misurata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

According to the Daily Mail, three more people were injured in the attack.

Arab Anger Revolution said that five more people were killed on that day in Misurata due to indiscriminate shelling.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Tim Hetherington 40 years old male Photographer killed
  • Chris Hondros 41 years old male Photographer killed
  • Guy Martin Adult male Photographer injured
  • Michael Brown Adult male Freelance journalist injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • 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 targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Tim Hetherington (via CBS)
  • Chrin Hondros (via CBS)
  • Video report on the incident by BBC Arabic
  • Euro News report on the incident

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Misurata (مصراتة), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.374457, 15.087794. 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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • 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 targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-072

Incident date

April 20, 2011

Location

خلة الفرجان, Khallet Al Furjan, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.795738, 13.217038 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians were reported killed and 18 other injured in Tripoli as a result of NATO bombing.

Arab Anger Revolution claimed that “NATO aircraft launched two air raids on the Libyan capital Tripoli on Wednesday evening, killing several people. Government television said seven people were killed and 18 others wounded when four rockets were fired at the Furjan area of ​​the capital.”

NATO itself reported six strikes on that day on “2 heavy equipment transporters, 3 armored vehicles” and “1 ammunition storage site” but did not admit to any civilian harm.

According to independent monitors, throughout the NATO campaign civilian casualty numbers provided by the Gaddafi regime were reportedly inflated.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • Civilians reported injured
    18
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Khallet Al Furjan (خلة الفرجان).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 heavy equipment transporters, 3 armored vehicles, 1 ammunition storage site.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • Civilians reported injured
    18
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-031

Incident date

March 11, 2011

Location

مرسى البريقة, Brega, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

30.411123, 19.570076 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A single source reported on Twitter that six civilians were killed in an airstrike by the Gaddafi regime on Brega.

Aban Idris said: “News of the martyrdom of 6 by aerial bombardment of Brega.”

Al Jazeera and France24 also reported airstrikes, but it is unclear if these were in the direct vicinity of Brega.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Brega (مرسى البريقة), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.411123, 19.570076. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Unknown

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-091

Incident date

May 12, 2011

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Six possible civilian fatalities were reported in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli at or near one of Gaddafi’s compounds.

Al Jazeera reported that “A series of explosions rocked early at dawn today in the center of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in the vicinity of Bab al-Aziziyah, the headquarters of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, after a raid by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”

Matelo0ove said: “Six people killed and 10 others wounded in air strikes in Libya: In new Libyan developments, a delegation of members of the National Council is visiting.” Other sources published similar accounts. However almost all media only described ‘people’

NATO itself said it had struck ” 2 Surface-To-Air Missile Launchers, 3 Buildings inside a military camp” on that day without admitting to any civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Surface-To-Air Missile Launchers, 3 Buildings inside a military camp.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-128

Incident date

July 22, 2011

Location

مرسى البريقة, Brega, Al Wahat, Libya

Geolocation

30.411123, 19.570076 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Six guards at a concrete pipe factory were reportedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Brega. No further details about the guards were provided, although multiple sources mentioned that three missiles struck the facility.

Reuters reported: “Six guards were killed in an air strike on Friday on a pipeline factory just south of the eastern city of Brega, a Libyan official said.

‘This will be a major setback for future projects and a major problem for maintenance,’ Abdul Hakim al-Shuhaidi, director of the state-run Libyan River Company, which runs the country’s giant irrigation project, told reporters in Tripoli.”

BBC News also quoted Abdul Hakim al-Shuhaidi, who stated the bombings “will represent a major setback for future projects”.

A Youtube video and another Facebook post shows the damage of the bombings, including ruins of buildings and broken concrete pipes.

NATO itself reported hitting “1 Military Storage Facility, 4 Armed Vehicles” near Brega on July 22.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • The video shows the results of the NATO bombing on the Brega factory, which produced concrete pipes, colloquially known as the "Great Man Made River" pipes. Video was dated July 23rd, 2011, and uploaded to the Inomine X Youtube channel.
  • Image shows the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows an empty lot, the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows a destroyed concrete pipe, the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows rubble, the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows the the entrance sign of the Brega concrete pipes factory, bombed by NATO. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows an empty building, the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows the inside of a concrete pipe. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.
  • Image shows a truck backhaul and strewn tires, the results of a NATO bombing on the Brega concrete pipes factory. Image taken the Facebook post of a worker at the Al Naher Al Sina’ company, dated December 4, 2015.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a pipeline factory being struck, allegedly in the town of Brega (مرسى البريقة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Brega are: 30.411123, 19.57007

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Brega: 1 Military Storage Facility, 4 Armed Vehicles

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-067

Incident date

April 12, 2011

Location

ككلة‎, Kikla, Jabal al Gharbi, Libya

Geolocation

32.068305, 12.693740 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A single source reported that civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike on Kikla.

According to Rassd News: “Monitoring Libyan TV: NATO air raid on the town of ‘Kikla’ south of Tripoli, killing civilians and policemen.”

NATO did not report any airstrikes near Kikla on that day.

There is currently no further known information for this event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • 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 targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Kikla ( ككلة‎ ), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.068305, 12.69374. 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
    Single source claim
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • 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 targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-049

Incident date

March 24, 2011

Location

مصراتة, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.374457, 15.087794 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A mother and her four children were reportedly killed by Gaddafi regime shelling on Misurata.

Al Manara TV noted: “Gaddafi forces on Friday continued to bomb Misurata east of Tripoli, killing one woman and her four children while a doctor at the city hospital on Thursday said 109 martyrs and 1,300 were wounded in a week in the city. ‘There is no electricity or water, and the city is starting to lack everything,’ another witness said.'”

No additional sources are known for this event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (4 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Misurata (مصراتة), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.374457, 15.087794. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (4 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

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 00:00:00 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Other

Sources (7) [ collapse]