ICRC to clear explosives from Libya's Sirte, Bani Walid

7th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday it will begin this week to clear unexploded munitions in Libya's Bani Walid and Sirte, where several civilians have been hurt or killed by explosives.

"The ICRC will clear unexploded munitions in Sirte and Bani Walid, focusing on the contaminated areas that pose the greatest threat to civilians, especially some of the least destroyed neighbourhoods where people are attempting to return to their homes," said the relief agency in a statement.

ICRC expert Guy Marto said there have been several confirmed casualties in Sirte, including an eight-year-old girl who lost her arm while playing with an explosive device.

"Our immediate goal is to ensure that further deaths and injuries among civilians are kept to an absolute minimum," he said.

In Zlitan, to the west of Misrata, some 30 people have been hit by weapons in farmlands and other parts of the region.

The relief agency has cleared almost 1,400 warheads, munitions, grenades and mortar shells across Libya since March.

Bani Walid and Sirte were the last towns loyal to Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi to fall to the revolutionaries after bitter fighting.

© 2011 AFP

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