Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

40 killed, 80 wounded as rebel airstrike hits detention centre in Libya

40 killed, 80 wounded as rebel airstrike hits detention centre in Libya

On Monday, Haft's Libyan National Army (LNA) which is called to a parallel government said it would start heavy airstrikes on targets in the capital after "traditional means" of war had been exhausted.

Emergency workers and others recover bodies after an airstrike killed at least 40 people at the Tajoura Detention Center for migrants, east of Tripoli, Libya, July 3, 2019.

Moreover, we urgently call on the worldwide community to provide humanitarian corridors for migrants and refugees to be evacuated out of Libya.

He said that more people may have been killed because the death toll so far was "a preliminary assessment".

A woman picks up her belongings from among the rubble Wednesday, after an airstrike hit a detention center for mainly African migrants in the Tajoura suburb of Tripoli. UNHCR with partners that include IOM has relocated more than 1,500 refugees from detention centres near combat to safer areas.

Thousands are being held in government-run detention centres in what human rights groups say are often inhuman conditions. Hifter's forces control much of Libya's east and south but suffered a significant blow last week when militias allied with the Tripoli government reclaimed the strategic town of Gharyan, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the capital.

The African Union (AU) condemned the air raid and demanded those responsible be held accountable.

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In a joint statement, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration said, "Our two organizations strongly condemn this and any attack on civilian life". The LNA for years has been supplied by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, while Turkey recently shipped arms to Tripoli to stop Haftar's assault, diplomats say. He said it has received spare parts from Egypt and possibly Russian Federation, as well as decommissioned aircraft from both countries. We also call for an immediate end to detention of migrants and refugees.

The fighting for Tripoli has threatened to plunge Libya into another bout of violence on the scale of the 2011 conflict that ousted longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi and led to his death.

United Nations refugee agency spokesman Charlie Yaxley said it could not confirm who launched the attack on the centre, which held some 600 people, but that medical teams were on the ground.

The rest of the migrants at the detention center were transferred to other places for their safety.

At least 6,000 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and other nations are locked in detention facilities in Libya, mostly after being apprehended by European Union-funded guards while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea.

The air attack in the early hours of Wednesday intensified concerns about the European Union's policy of teaming up with Libyan militias to block refugees and migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, which often leaves them at the mercy of brutal traffickers or stranded in frightful conditions inside squalid detention centres near the front lines.

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