One mine was hidden behind a garage door. Another, buried under rubble, was rigged to blow near a gas tank. A particularly diabolical explosive, activists claimed, was taped to an abandoned teddy bear.
Fifteen months after rogue military leader Khalifa Haftar attacked the Libyan capital, Tripoli, his bid to capture the city and unseat the United Nations-recognized government there has ended in retreat. But in the two weeks since his forces pulled back from Tripoli’s southern suburbs, some 200,000 people displaced by the fighting face a new threat as they try to return home: hundreds of mines, improvised explosive devices, booby traps and unexploded ordnance left as a parting gift by Haftar’s fighters.
“There’s no military utility for this.… They’re just punishing the civilian population,” Mark Hiznay, associate director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, said in a phone interview. “It’s the modern version of salting the earth.”
#Libya- #GNA photos of IEDs left behind by the #LNA after retreating from positions in Ain Zara area, south of #Tripoli.
The claymore and the other directionally focused fragmentary charge are particularly interesting considering that the LNA doesn’t do IEDs that much… pic.twitter.com/wbwfhoPGX6
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) May 22, 2020
In the last 14 days, there have been more than 50 casualties among civilians — including an 8-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy — and demining teams,…