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UN warns that unexploded bombs pose rising threat to civilians in Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – The threat posed by unexploded bombs is rising exponentially in war-torn Libya, experts have warned, with the use of banned cluster weapons a source of particular concern.

The UN’s Mine Action Service (Unmas) said that even parts of the country previously cleared of explosive material had been recontaminated following a surge in fighting since April last year.

“The threat posed by explosive remnants of war has increased,” said Bob Seddon, Unmas’s threat mitigation officer, at a meeting of experts in Geneva last Wednesday.

The UN’s mission in Libya reported last month that the volume of unexploded ordnance in Tripoli had increased “exponentially” and it had received hundreds of reports from civilians living in areas affected by fighting.

“It is estimated that there are between 150,000 to 200,000 tonnes of uncontrolled munitions across Libya,” said Seddon.

Explosives accounted for most of the 900 civilian deaths and casualties in Libya in 2019, according to the advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.

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