At least one civilian was killed and another wounded on Wednesday, October 28, in a suspected explosive remnant of war (ERW) blast in the Wadi Al-Rabie area (Tripolitania region), south of Tripoli. 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.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' (OCHA) September Libya humanitarian bulletin, a total of 94 mine-related incidents were reported between May and September 2020, mostly in southern Tripoli, which resulted in 66 deaths and 117 injuries, 116 of which were civilians. 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.
Those in Tripoli are advised to exercise a high level of caution if operating in southern areas of the capital 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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