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Massive demolitions of ammunition in Libya

Source: MAG (Mines Advisory Group) - Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:45 AM
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Twenty-five tonnes of ammunition is destroyed by MAG at a site outside Misrata. To date, MAG has removed more than 270,000 explosive remnants of war across Libya. [Photo: MAG Libya]
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MAG and international aid organisation Handicap International have each destroyed 25 tonnes of ammunition in Libya, in two massive controlled explosions outside Misrata.

The demolitions took place on 12 December, and followed extensive clearance activities at Misrata's Ammunition Storage Area (ASA) and surrounding communities.

After our Technical Field Manager activated the MAG detonation from a distance of 800m away, the ground trembled, a loud thumping noise could be heard kilometres away, and a huge cloud of smoke rose hundreds of metres high.

Ammunition destroyed ranged from 30mm projectiles to 120mm mortars to 152mm projectiles, with items weighing anywhere between 500g and 43kg.

MAG and Handicap International (HI) teams had spent five days carefully stacking the ammunition in three-metre deep craters.

Many visitors came to view the demolitions, including representatives from a number of embassies, the UN, Libyan officials and the local military commander, as well as the local staff of MAG, HI and DanChurchAid, who participated in the preparation work.

Spectators watched from a safe distance of 2.4km away.

To date, MAG has removed more than 270,000 explosive remnants of war across Libya, the majority of which have come from ASAs in Misrata and Zintan. This latest demolition followed another in November, when MAG destroyed 10 tonnes of ammunition.

Find out more: MAG's work in Libya

• Thanks to all the public, institutional and government donors to MAG's operations in Libya, including: European Union; German GIZ; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom Conflict Pool; US Department of State’s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement. Without this support, MAG's lifesaving work in the country could not be carried out.

• MAG coordinates with all relevant stakeholders in Libya, including local authorities, the Libyan Ministry of Defence, the Libyan Mine Action Centre and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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