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25 Aug 2020 | 01:17 PM UTC

Libya: Civilians killed in suspected ERW blast near Zliten (Murqub district) August 23

Libya News Alert

Four civilians killed in suspected ERW blast near Zliten (Murqub district) on August 23; highlights threat from ERW

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/27/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tripoli). COUNTRY/REGION Zliten


Tripoli-based authorities announced that four people were killed on Sunday, August 23, in a suspected explosive remnants of war (ERW) blast in the Zliten area of the Murqub district, west of Tripoli. The civilian group are reported to have triggered two explosions whilst on a hunting trip between Zliten and Al-Dawon. However, it is currently unclear whether the area had previously been mined during fighting around Tripoli.

The incident highlights the persistent threat from mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and ERW in areas around Tripoli. Demining operations are ongoing but the threat from these devices is likely to remain high in the area in the medium term.


Thousands of mines and ERW remain scattered across numerous areas of southern Tripoli and the surrounding region following a year of heavy fighting, during which the area was occupied by Libyan National Army (LNA) forces. LNA fighters have also been accused of intentionally planting mines and IEDs as they withdrew from Tripoli in May in order to hamper the advance of pro-GNA forces and delay the return of civilians to residential areas.

According to a United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) statement on July 2, IEDs, mines, ERW, and booby traps have caused at least 130 casualties, including 55 demining personnel and 75 civilians, in southern Tripoli since the LNA withdrew from the region.


Those in Tripoli and the wider region are advised to exercise a high level of caution and should never approach or touch any unfamiliar objects that may be ERW, but immediately report any such items to local authorities. Travelers in areas where ERW may remain a threat should avoid departing from defined safe paths and roads where possible.

The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.


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