18 Civilian Deaths in May

From 1 May to 31 May 2017, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) documented 68 civilian casualties – 18 deaths and 50 injuries – during the conduct of hostilities across Libya.

The total civilian casualty figure for May is the highest for any month so far in 2017. Victims included 13 men killed and 20 injured, 5 children killed and 4 injured and 5 women injured.  UNSMIL was unable to determine the age of another 20 injured males and 1 injured female.

Civilian Casualties

The majority of civilian casualties were caused by a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED),  (5 deaths and 20 injuries), followed by gunfire (9 deaths and 6 injuries), and airstrikes (1 death and 6 injuries). Another 3 civilians were killed and 2 injured when a tank exploded after being set on fire. The exact cause of 16 further injuries is unknown.

UNSMIL documented 5 deaths and 20 injuries in Salouq, 4 deaths and 7 injuries in Tripoli, 15 injuries in Benghazi, 6 deaths in Brak al-Shatti, 1 death and 6 injuries in Hun, 1 death and 1 injury in al-Zawiya and 1 death and 1 injury in Bani Walid.

The civilian casualties included 14 injured (9 men, 4 women and another female whose age is unknown), who sustained wounds from shrapnel and flying debris in an attack on the Shebna-Sirty neighborhood in Benghazi on 3 May.  On 19 May, 2 men and 2 boys were killed, and a further 20 males were injured in the city of Salouq in a VBIED attack in front of the Bilal Ben Rebah mosque, as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers. Another boy succumbed to his injuries several days later.

On 18 May, 95 bodies, as well as a few injured, were brought to a hospital in southern Libya as a result of a coordinated attack by the Misratan Third Force, backed by Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) and other allies, against the Brak al-Shatii airbase, controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA) 12th Brigade. The majority were in military uniform and were fighters either stationed at the airbase or in transit to another base.   At least three civilians were shot dead as they were driving near the Brak al-Shatti airbase.  Another three civilian workers were shot dead inside the airbase. The exact number of other civilian casualties remains unconfirmed. On 19 May, the Presidential Council condemned the attack and established a committee to investigate the violence. In apparent retaliation, airstrikes were carried out on several targets in Jufra municipality, leading to the death of 1 Nigerien migrant and the injury of 6 other men in the town of Hun and its outskirts on 20 and 22 May.

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