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Munitions In Misurata: a virtual investigation by @acarvin's Twitter followers

When an unusual munition landed in the Libyan city of Misurata, a group of volunteers on Twitter took on the task of identifying exactly what kind of weapon it was. Here's a timeline of what happened.


  1. On Friday, May 6, photographer Ali Alramli and other members of the 17 Of February Media Center documented a number of munitions that had fallen on the city of Misurata, Libya. At least one of them exploded, damaging a white van.
  2. approximately 50 explosives were found in the port of Misrata
    approximately 50 explosives were found in the port of Misrata
  3. Truck was hit directly by explosive device.
    Truck was hit directly by explosive device.
  4. They also uploaded a video of the scene from youtube, and then a group of volunteers added English subtitles:
  5. The initial speculation of people on the scene was that it was some form of mine, and some in Misurata even reported they were possibly dropped by helicopter:

  6. Details and evidence are emerging. Our source has interviews with
    witnesses and video of the damage, which will be furnished ASAP (this is
    a reliable source we have used repeatedly). Yesterday, helicopters
    were flying over the port of Misrata, guards became alerted so they
    investigated what was happening and furthermore they contacted NATO to
    confirm they were OK. NATO told them they were Red Cross helicopters and
    were told to hold any fire. Helicopters entered harbor without
    permission but guards were told they could not be fired upon. Shortly
    thereafter, the helicopters released explosives which are currently
    being described as "land mines" being dropped from the helicopter into
    the harbor in an apparent effort to damage the port.
  7. Meanwhile, on the ground in Misurata, Pulitzer-prize winning foreign correspondent CJ Chivers was investigating the situation, working with his own sources to identify exactly what type of munition this was:
  8. While CJ went about his work, I issued a challenge to my Twitter followers to see if we could figure out what the munition was just by doing our own research and pooling our collective knowledge, using the hashtag #IDthis so we could all track the conversation: