News / Africa

Leftover Munitions Hurt Children Returning to Gadhafi's Hometown

Already traumatized by war, some Libyan children returning to Moammar Gadhafi's hometown and last stronghold, Sirte, have been hurt by grenades and other weapons left from the bitter struggle for the city.

The devastation from weeks of fighting is a testament to the brutality of what happened here, and the danger remains.

The emergency room at Ibn a-Sina hospital is receiving the conflict's latest victims.

This young boy was hurt when he and his sister found a rocket-propelled grenade in the living room of their house.

But he is lucky, he has shrapnel in his hands, and one is broken, but the doctor says he will recover.

His sister describes what happened.

“I saw it in the living room of our house. My brother and I were taking it outside, but it fell down and it exploded,” she said.

Another sister was also there. She was not injured but she has her brother's blood on her shirt.

Their aunt was with them when it happened, and was waiting outside the hospital.

“We had just arrived home to get some clothes.  I don't know where it came from.  Our whole house is ruined and Sirte is completely destroyed.  I can't describe my feelings.  God will deal with the people who did this,” she said.

The few doctors still working here, including Arish Taher Shafa, are concerned there will be more such incidents as people return home.

“Population will come again to Sirte and we will have more than this (young) lady. There is a lot of trauma like this. The family comes back to home, they find something and bombing,” the doctor said.

And that's not hard to imagine.  With the level of devastation throughout the city, more people returning to look for clothes and other possessions are likely to find unwelcome and dangerous debris, in places their children feel safe to run and play.

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