sabato 17 settembre 2011

At least 30,000 Killed, 50,000 Wounded in Libyan Conflict

fonte: The Tripoli Post

08/09/2011 13:39:00
A Libyan woman walks by photos of people killed during the fighting between rebels and Muammar Al Qathafi loyalist forces in the early days of the conflict

Libya's interim health minister in the country's new leadership, Naji Barakat said that at least 30,000 people have been killed and 50,000 more wounded, including some 20,000 with serious injuries, during the over six-month conflict that began in mid-February in Benghazi.

Barakat claims that this is first detailed estimate of the high cost in lives of ousting former Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi from power after his 42-year rule. Up till now, the figures published and/or mentioned by various media had been rough estimates

The figures just announced, Barakat said, are based in part on reports from hospitals, local officials and former rebel commanders. However, he will only have a complete count in several weeks, expecting the final figure for dead and wounded to be higher than his current estimates after the battles expected in the last remaining l Qathafi strongholds.

Speaking to the Associated Press on wednesday, the interim health minister said that at least 4 000 people are still missing, either presumed dead or held prisoner in remaining Al Qathafi strongholds.

Others killed in fighting were hastily buried, and are now being exhumed for identification by specialised teams who also continue to find secret graves of detainees killed by retreating Al Qathafi forces. One such grave just dug up unearthed more bodies in one area of the Libyan capital Tripoli and two other towns.

In an attempt to get a more detailed figure, Barakat said that next week, worshippers in local mosques will be asked to report the dead and missing in their families.

Barakat went on to say that of the estimated 30,000 dead, about half are believed to have been Al Qathafi fighters. He added that he has also been told that by Libya's new military officials that the Khamis Brigade, commanded by Al Qathafi's son Khamis and a core force in Al Qathaf's army, lost about 9 000 troops.

One of the hardest hit areas was the port city of Misurata, where former rebels and Al Qathafi loyalist forces fought for two months. Citing new figures from the local council at Libya's third largest city, he said that at least 2 000 former rebel fighters and civilians were killed there. Thousands more were wounded, including 900 who lost limbs,

He said that reporting is incomplete for the western areas of the country that remained under Al Qathafi's control until close to the end of the fighting, including the capital of Tripoli.

Barakat added that little is known about the number of people killed during a brutal crackdown on mass opposition protests in the spring in those areas.

The former rebels entered Tripoli on August 21, and up till the time they took control of the Libyan capital after a week of fierce street battles, at least 1,700 former rebel fighters died along with about 100 civilians

The number of deaths and wounded is expected to rise.

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