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ICRC: Munitions strewn 'all over' Libya

March 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM   |   Comments

SIRTE, Libya, March 27 (UPI) -- Residents in the Libyan city of Sirte are searching abandoned tanks at their own risk while children are playing with unexploded munitions, the ICRC said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said last year's war in Libya left "huge quantities" of unexploded shells, mines and other munitions. People searching for scrap metal are at risk of detonating ammunition on abandoned tanks while children are attracted to bright colors painted on unexploded munitions.

The Libyan government under Moammar Gadhafi had refused to join international treaties regarding land mines. The transitional government, which took control last year during a NATO-led offensive, has pledged to destroy the mines in its arsenals.

Human Rights Watch had said the use of land mines by Gadhafi loyalists last year was "extensive."

The ICRC said Sirte was hit hard during the fighting last year. Unexploded ordnance, the aid agency said, are "all over the city" and outlying farmlands.

Most of the victims injured by the abandoned ordnance, said Jennifer Reeves, an official for the ICRC, are under the age of 22.

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