Saturday, November 12, 2011

Flashback - Unexploded Ordnance in Tripoli

My wimax connection is on again off again as usual, but when it's on it's seems to be a bit faster. But then again maybe this is due to the fact that our computers, laptops, netbooks, smartphones and other gadgets are pretty much updated. The internet comes on and we all  get online and everything starts to automatically update at once, putting a drain on our already slow connection. 

Today I decided to look at Google Earth - but first I had to update it... and then reboot... and then connect to the net... and finally have a look. The first thing I noticed was that the imagery in the area where I live had all been updated shortly after the liberation of Tripoli. Fantastic! 

One of the places I looked at first was the ammunition dump that was bombed in August that gave me the biggest fright of my life. I posted the experience here: August 2011  It still scares me; from time to time I have flashbacks and I have to stop and take a deep breath and pull myself together.

Imagery date: August 29, 2011 - Click on the images to see larger versions. 

In contrast - the imagery below shows the same site at the beginning of March - before the No Fly Zone was imposed. You can see that it was being used to store munitions at that time. Such a shame that Kadafy thought so little of the civilians living in the area. I suspect most people had no idea what was being stored there. We always thought it was an old unused camp.

Below is the other part of the camp after the bombardment. There are less munitions here but still a substantial amount can be seen.

Here you can see how close the bomb craters and unexploded ordnance are to the main road.
This place is a little over a mile away from me as the crow flies. It's actually two sites that are separated from one another by a small road with the main Ain Zara road running adjacent to it's western perimeter wall. The businesses and homes across the street from the site suffered a huge amount of damage but I have not heard of anyone having lost their life as a result of NATO's bombardment of the area. We were told that leaflets had been dropped warning the people to evacuate the area - but I've not seen any of the leaflets myself. In most areas where leaflets were dropped they were quickly collected and destroyed by pro-Kadafy forces.

Damage from the exploding munitions.
More damage
Some of the shops are actually being renovated although I'm not sure whether the structures would be able to pass any safety standards... but what am I thinking... it's all in God's hands here. If the building falls down while you are in it - then so be it! It was written.... sigh....

One of the issues facing the NTC is to secure munitions dumps and sites such as these. Hundreds of bombs and rockets are clearly visible through the broken wall; there is only razor-wire between the broken bits of wall and the main road. In some places the unexploded bombs are less than 30 feet from the road.

I don't think it would be possible for anyone to walk in and drag off any of the bombs that are still scattered about. They are way too heavy for anyone to manage on their own. My concern is that they might be sabotaged in some way or that they could detonate somehow by accident. I hope they clean up this site soon. Everyday I drive down that road and I say a few prayers. 


  1. Unfortunately experience tells me that this kind of ordnance will stay like that for a long time, governments worry a lot with small guns but neglect type of weapons you presented. In many cases not even warnings let alone guards are present.
    The worst I have seen is people dying from trying to scrap materials to get extra income.
    It's every one responsibility to raise awareness in the authorities to these issues.

  2. May Allah Bless you all and keep Libya from becoming another Iraq or Afghanistan. I hope he protects you from you new friends as well. George


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