By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 7 January:
During the revolution, 4,700 people died and 2,100 went missing, according to official figures issued by the Ministry of Martyrs and Missing Persons.
Ever since the end of the eight-month conflict that overthrew Qaddafi, there have been wildly different casualty estimates. Initially officials believed that some 50,000 had perished, a figure which was later revised down to 25,000. These latest statistics have been compiled after careful research by the ministry, but do not to include the final figure for fatalities on the Qaddafi side.
Miftah Duwadi, the Deputy Minister of Martyrs & Missing Persons told the Libya Herald that the numbers for revolutionary losses are still being checked but officials do not expect any major changes.
“I can’t tell you the exact figure but, as of now, the number of martyrs from the side of revolutionaries is in the range of 4,700″, said Duwadi. “But the number of missing persons from both the sides (Qaddafi forces and revolutionaries) is around 2,100. We are working hard to finish the final numbers. It is very important for the reconciliation process as well, that we know the exact (total) losses.”
At the height of the conflict, the National Transitional Council estimated that tens of thousands had been killed by Qaddafi’s forces, while the former regime accused the revolutionaries and NATO of being responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. The Ministry’s research so far suggests that the death toll for the old regime may be about the same as among revolutionaries, if not indeed less.
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