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Awash in Small Arms and Landmines: The Unseen Dangers Lurking in Libya

Landmines, unexploded ordnances and discarded ammunition pose a risk to Libya's population and have injured scores of civilians.

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Nato recently released a list of its unexploded munitions in Libya, providing the latitude and longitude for each site, the weight of the ordnance and a description of the means of delivery (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter gunship or naval vessel).

While this has provided demining organisations with vital information necessary to carry out their demining activities, specialists say this falls short of further information required to protect civilians and rid the country of hazards.

Despite Nato’s sophisticated targeting sensors used by aircrews to record infrared video of the impact of a missile or bomb,  it has so far refused to provide exactly where weapons struck and when they failed to function properly.

This information would enable governments and mine-clearing organisations to alert the public to places of risk and to focus efforts on removing high-explosive remnants of war. Without this information UXOs, some of them containing  toxic propellants, pose a threat to accidental discovery by civilians.

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