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Monday, December 26, 2011

Women and Children Dead at Abu Salim Hospital

December 22, 2011
last update Dec. 27

<< The Tripoli Massacres

The Evidence for Women and Children  
Adding to the previous record on the carnage at Abu Salim Trauma Hospital, a CNN news report from Alex Thomson I'd missed before (thanks to Petri Krohn's Abu Salim hospital playlist - his whole channel is amazingly informative)
Grim Face of War in Libya
Posted by Ikon590 on August 26, 2011

What's unusual here is the dark tone of the report, and the faint suggestion (at 1:25) that rebels might be responsible for what happened at the Hospital. What's altogether new to me is the information at 2:15, about the executed black would-be refugees dumped next to the hospital (covered somewhat here). Previous reports said 19 or 20 bodies were there, all men. This says there were 22 victims, including "two women, two children, but most were men of fighting age."

It's not entirely clear what Thomson's criteria were for saying"children." He could have meant teenager, and actually seen a 20-year-old man who's just a bit small. Even gender cannot always be adduced correctly from decomposing bodies laid in strange postures. But Thomson has more experience than usual judging by his Channel 4 bio,  covering as many war zones as anyone else around. I'll givehim credit here, especially as it's supported.

Andrew Simmons for al Jazeera was the first journalist at the hospital on the 26th. For an interview with National Public Radio, he confirmed women at least were among the dead.
BLOCK: Were these men, women, children, Andrew?

SIMMONS: We could make out men and some women, only a few. We didn't see any children. And we weren't really in a position to be forensic over this.
And The BBC's John Simpson, who called the scene at the hospital "one of the most terrible incidents of the revolution," was among those reporting "more than 200 decomposing bodies" and the BBC report specified that he "found corpses of men, women and children on beds and in the corridors of Abu Salim's hospital," in addition to the ones on that pile outside (or was this a minor error of presumption?).

There are other points of ambiguity with the total number of dead on-site. Was it 75, or "more than 200" at its highest point? Did the number fluctuate, and if so, why? Did anyone else report or even show women and children among these ambiguous dead? Because their killing - often on-site and by the blade - is the real problem, rather than their being left "unattended" afterwards. And one side rife with sword-waving, unaccountable, spoiled-rotten, uncontrolled, Islamo-nihilist slaughter jackals stands out as both culprits and as the nation's new rulers.

What it Means (a Guess)
If women and children were among those executed and abandoned at the hospital, the obvious question is what it means. It doesn't really look like a policy of anyone's to kill the populace indiscriminately. By all evidence, the numbers of kids and women are too low to be the main plan. But something unusual was at work here, putting families in whole at a risk that was too great in at least a few cases.

My best guess builds right off what I've already observed. Near these dead are quite a few blankets, which are often handy enough when dead are concerned, but also pillows and clothing, cardboard boxes and plastic bags. Those planning to flee from rebel "liberation"might carry the former inside the latter, piled in the car. They might go as families, hoping to escape in time. Dozens of cars were left abandoned all over that area, rammed off the road, doors flung open, hoods popped, disabled.

The drivers of these cars of Abu Salim are presumably arrested or dead. Most of the dead we've seen dumped about are adult males, but like anyone else, they had families, and some perhaps had them right there. One man shot near his car (victim #9, graphic photo, listed and placed with others here) wore a wedding ring, and had a baby blanket left nearby. One could presume from this the rebels had a policy of physically sparing women and children as usually done. But they seemed to quite freely execute daddies who tried to flee suspiciously.

It's not too hard to imagine in this climate a few women and older children, the spirited ones, refusing to be parted from their husband/father, refusing to leave their assailants eyes intact, and having to be, unfortunately,"put down" alongside their main target. It's not the only option, nor the best, they'd be aware. But is the quickest. If so, they'd be dumped with the rest, no problem. It's a bad guy thing, so the bad guy "Gaddafi regime" will be blamed. Let those who flee and kill at the same time be blamed as the killers of these attempted refugees and go down as child-killers and women-killers that the humanitarian rebels were always just barely too late to save the country from..

Update December 26:
And an update on investigations into who carried out the slaughter of men, women, and children, inside and around this hospital full of wounded loyalists: Nothing I can find. The only new story in a news search is about 100 surgeons who had a workshop at the trauma hospital in mid-December.

Officially, it seems, loyalist snipers wounding people, a cowardly loyalist staff who ran from those snipers, and simple neglect still explain the gunshot executions, throat-slitting, and beheadings that occurred inside this one among many black holes of "Free Libya's" emerging new history. And anyone there who knows, who escaped, who can see and care, will be scared shitless to say anything about it. At the moment, Tripoli's doctors - those found disloyalist or neutral enough to remain free, alive, and working - are still trying to get guns as banned from their hospitals as cigarettes.

This comes after a hospital worker strike, following months of repeated incidents like this minor battle, and more recently thuggish behavior in broad daylight that hasn't quite been fatal yet, per the BBC's report anyway. The concerned health workers might be among those aware of the staff at Abu Salim's onetime inability to prevent guns and swords being used there, dozens of times over, turning the place into a veritable slaughterhouse, one with even less government oversight or concern than there would be if cattle were killed there.


  1. More than 200 corpses ,Hundreds of rotting corpses in hospital in Tripoli
    Of unspeakable atrocities in Tripoli told the BBC: More than 200 corpses already in a state of decay have been discovered in a hospital in the Libyan capital,

    A BBC correspondent saw in the halls of the Abu Salim Hospital the bodies of men, women and children.
    The location was " the most disgusting and frightening," he had ever seen, told reporters Wyre Davies.

  2. 25.08.2011: roadblocks & bombs preventing medical care to come to abu saleem hospital ?

    [If Gaddafi is still in Tripoli he'll probably wait]

    Jalloud said in Rome

    Rebels, residents set up checkpoints in 'liberated' areas of Tripoli/01:22 Aug 22 2011

    Ghargoor (not far from Bab Alziziya), Bu Sleem, Alhadba, Airport road, and Qasr Bin Ghashir.

    People are using passwords in order to be allowed through certain checkpoints manned by NTC forces

  3. After they had overthrow Tripoli the rebels found BURNED CORPSES in hospitals,

    were hundreds of people might have been detained
    vermutlich seien dort Hunderte Menschen als Gefangene festgehalten worden.


  4. In a clinic attached to a fire station in Abu Salim men were left behind , presumably warriors or followers of Gaddafi.
    They moaned and begged for water. Curious people from the neighborhood came to see, but no one offered to help.

    AP reporter stopped a taxi to take some casualties from the ambulance to a hospital.
    The driver agreed to initially.

    But men from the neighborhood walked in and said that the people should be heard first, before they could be taken away.


    The reporter himself saw five wounded and dying soldiers Gaddafi in a field hospital,in which now rebels patrol

    They had nothing to eat or drink and get no medical treatment.

  5. The Independent warned in its editorial on Sunday that the barbarism in Tripoli could have negative political consequences for the National Transitional Council.

    Supporters of the intervention - such as the editor of the newspaper - have it hard enough, as long as they can claim that it is Gaddafi who is massacring civilians,...


  6. http://www.wsws.org/de/2011/aug2011/liby-a31.shtml

    In a hospital in Tripoli, the bodies of 17 civilians who were executed, according to a British assistant of Gaddafi fighters were delivered .

    "These guys were arrested ten days ago," said Kirsty Campbell of the International Medical Corps.
    Rebels had found the bodies in Bab al-Asisija, the military area with Gaddafi's residence.

    "These guys were there executed with shots," said Campbell.It has been reported that more shooted corpses has been found there.


    The British news agency Reuters reported of the discovery of several mass graves in Tripoli.

    She claimed there was evidence of "numerous executions and murders during the Battle of the Libyan capital."

    The report placed the responsibility for the worst massacre in which 53 bodies were found in a burned-out warehouse, to Qaddafi's troops,

  7. Nor is there mention of the disposal of the bodies of the victims of rebel violence: the mass burning of bodies of victims to erase any trace of crimes against humanity committed by the U.S.- and NATO-backed rebel forces.


  8. curtis doebbler ‏ @cdoebbler

    Libyan doctor estimates as many as 100,000 people killed in #Libya by NATO and NATO-led rebels initiated violence.

  9. 1752: Wyre Davies BBC News
    says there were no doctors, nurses or other staff at the hospital - they fled when the fighting reached the area.

    1750: Wyre Davies BBC News
    says the bodies he saw at Abu Salim hospital were too badly decomposed to see how they had died. He described wards piled with bodies, with more lying outside. Abu Salim district saw heavy fighting in recent days.

    1738: Wyre Davies BBC News
    says there are about 200 bodies at the hospital in Tripoli's Abu Salim district. Some are men of fighting age, others are women and children.

  10. C4's Alex Thomson
    tweets: My blog from Abu Salim hospital.
    Warning - it's a little heavy


    Channel 4 News' Alex Thomson
    is in Tripoli. He tweets: Abu Salim hospital - some of the worst things I ever saw - untransmittable horror #c4news#Libya

    0902: Dozens of unidentified bodies lie in an abandoned hospital in Tripoli's Abu Salim neighbourhood, which has been the scene of fierce fighting, AP news agency reports. Some are piled in the hospital yard, where they have been covered with blankets.

    AP suggests they have darker skin than most Libyans and could be professional soldiers recruited by Muammar Gaddafi from sub-Saharan Africa.

  11. Kadri in Tripoli
    emails: Rebel fighters discriminately killed any suspect to be from Gaddafi's tribe and labelled them enemies. Nato killed many innocent civilians. The city is chaos.

    Ahmed in Tripoli
    Nato didn't care about the death of civilians. All migrants from African countries are massacred by rebels, including my friend. They say they are Gaddafi soldiers. Why? Why? Why did you repeat the past mistakes you did to African people?

  12. tweets: Two Africans with bullet wounds among #Gaddafi men. 1 from Niger, 1 from Senegal. Both accused by doctors of being hired guns. #Libya

    2212: John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News,
    says doctors across Tripoli have come to help out at the hospital, which lies in an area which has seen fierce fighting. Staff fled days ago for their own safety, but wounded people kept coming.

    Kirsty Campbell of International Medical Corps tells the BBC it has been hard to treat those who are injured in Tripoli: "We managed to get a boat in from Misrata with some medical supplies two days ago, and I've just been down to the port now and had some doctors that came in from Malta. So at least there is some kind of supply chain, but I know that it has been very difficult."

    Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons
    tweets: ICRC have now evacuated Abu Salem Trauma Hospital. 21 seriously needing surgery transferred...

  13. The BBC's Lyse Doucet
    tweets: Checkpost Tripoli, rebel manning it used to live London, says "cheers." #Liverpool fan drives up, shouts "you'll never walk alone" #Libya

  14. 2146: The Guardian covers Libyan novelist
    Hisham Matar at the Edinburgh international book festival: "For the first time in our history, the idea of democracy is a real, tangible idea, not a fairy tale."

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Wikipedia

  15. Civilians in the Abu Salim area of Tripoli, site of the most recent fighting in the city, were trapped between firing from both sides as opposition fighters clashed with remaining al-Gaddafi loyalists., Abdel Salam Mabrouk, along with his wife and three children, were fleeing their apartment on the third floor when their building was shelled on 25 August. When they reached the front entrance, Abdel Salem was shot in his stomach. Abdel Salam told us that the family could not leave Abu Salim to seek shelter elsewhere because they had no car, and none of their relatives could pick them up due to fuel shortages. After being wounded, Abdel Salam and his family were trapped in the area for several hours until the fighting subsided and he was taken to the Central Tripoli Hospital.

    Staff in two Tripoli hospitals told us that between 19 and 25 August, at least nine women and one child died as a result of gunshot wounds in Tripoli.
    Published by admin on 28 August 2011


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