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Libya orders arrest of eight officials over flood disaster

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Libya’s prosecutor general has issued arrest warrants for eight officials in connection with the devastating flood disaster that claimed thousands of lives, according to his office.

The catastrophic flash flood occurred on September 10 when two aging dams gave way following a hurricane-strength storm in the vicinity of Derna, a coastal city in eastern Libya.

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The officials under investigation are suspected of “poor management” and negligence, as stated in a release from the prosecutor general’s office. They have either held or currently hold positions in agencies responsible for water resources and dam management.

As of Saturday, the official death toll surpassed 3,800, and humanitarian organizations estimate that more than 10,000 people may remain unaccounted for.

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Following an investigation, Libya’s prosecutor general, Al-Seddik al-Sur, revealed over a week ago that the two dams located upstream from Derna had suffered structural damage dating back to 1998.

However, repair efforts initiated by a Turkish company in 2010 were halted a few months later due to the outbreak of Libya’s 2011 revolution, and the restoration work was never resumed.

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Al-Sur stated this on September 16, emphasizing his commitment to holding those responsible accountable.

The 2011 revolt, backed by NATO, resulted in the overthrow of the long-standing dictator Mummar Ghadaffi and subsequently ushered in over a decade of intermittent conflicts.

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