EU funds ordnance removal in Libya

Nov. 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM
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BRUSSELS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The European Commission announced it was increasing funding available to help clear battlegrounds in Libya of unexploded ordnance.

NATO announced Oct. 31 that its mandate for military intervention in Libya had ended following the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the Transitional National Council was recognized as the sole governmental authority in Tripoli.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for crisis response and humanitarian aid, said civilians in combat zones face residual threats from the remnants of war.

"Despite the cessation of the fighting, unexploded ammunition and mines are still claiming victims, especially children," she said in a statement. "This additional funding will assist the Libyan people to reduce the risk of fatalities and injury."

The more than $680,000 unveiled is on top of the more than $2.7 million committed for Libyan relief efforts.

The International Committee of the Red Cross this week said it was working to remove the physical threat posed by more than 1,000 warheads and other weapons littered throughout Libya since March.

Recent concerns were raised that regional al-Qaida affiliates have acquired heavy weaponry lost during the Libyan war.

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