#BBCtrending: The boy on a beach with an RPG
- 2 August 2014
A video of a young boy firing a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) on a beach has shocked many people. But what's the story behind it?
The young boy looks tiny as he stands on a beach, places an RPG on his shoulder and fires. There's a huge bang and smoke billows all around. All the while two adults look on and encourage him.
It's unclear who the boy or the adults are. The video itself has been posted multiple times. Though it's being widely viewed now, it appears to have been first posted at least as far back as January.
Though some of the postings refer to it as a "Palestinian child firing an RPG on Gaza Beach", it actually appears to be from Libya. The accents in the video are Libyan, and some have suggested it may have been on a beach in the Sirte area.
Libyans have taken to Twitter to voice their condemnation describing the scene as "insane" and a "glimpse of our future".
"Since the revolution almost every household has a gun," says Libyan journalist Hassan Morajea. "I went to one friend's house and his five-and-a-half-year-old brother came out with a pistol in his hand."
During the Libyan civil war people seized weapons held by Muammar Gaddafi and more were imported to support the rebels.
There are believed to be at least 40 major storage houses across the country which are still being looted, as well as a significant black market for guns.
Efforts by the government and NGOs to get people to give up their weapons have largely been unsuccessful.
"Not enough has been done to convince people that if they hand over weapons they will be kept safe. If you have a weapon you don't want to give it to the state because you think it will go to militias," says Morajea.
Libya has been gripped by a wave of violence since the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi.
Although in this video no-one was hurt, Hassan Morajea fears that gun ownership could lead to more deadly outcomes if the government does not act. "People of my country don't seem to understand that these weapons kill. They are not toys."
Reporting by Laura Gray
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