Children Casualties in Libya

In Misrata, Libya, 15-year-old Mohammed Majeed had grown so accustomed to the war raging around him that he lost his fear of the ordnance scattered on the ground in his neighborhood. One day in April, he found a rifle grenade and carried it inside. The next day, as he played with it, it exploded in his hand. Mohammed lost four fingers, becoming another Misrata child wounded by unexploded ordnance. Adult residents also collect the ordnance and set up displays of war paraphernalia. “I understand the sentiment behind the [monuments], but it’s like the worst-case scenario in a course on explosive ordnance disposal,” said Fred Pavey, a British member of the Christian ACT Alliance humanitarian mine action team. Mohammed’s father says people are learning from the mistakes of others. “Because of what happened to my son, most of the children of our neighborhood are now afraid of these things,” he said. “Kids are very bored in Libya, but they get bombs instead of toys from Qaddafi. He has destroyed everything.”

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