Libya migrants: Attack kills dozens at detention centre
An attack has killed up to 40 migrants at a detention centre on the outskirts of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, government officials have confirmed. Some 80 people were injured at the centre, which the UN backed government says was hit by an air strike.
Anti-Government forces led by warlord Gen Khalifa Haftar have accused government forces of bombing it. The dead are believed to be Africans, attempting to reach Europe on clandestine sea crossings to Libya.
Thousands of migrants are stopped and hald in government-run detention centres. The country has been torn by violence and division since long-time rule Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.
Some 120 migrants were said to be inside the hanger at Tajoura Detention Centre which took a direct hit, emergency services spokesman Osama Ali reported. An official in the Libyan health ministry, Doctor Khalid Bin Attia, attended the scene of the strike and described the carnage.
“People were everywhere, the camp was destroyed, people were crying, there was psychological trauma, the lights were out. We couldn’t see the area very clearly but just when the ambulance came, it was horrible, blood is everywhere, somebody’s guts in pieces.”
The UN backed Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Faye al-Sarraj, has accused the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of carrying out the air strike on the centre. The “heinous crime” was “premeditated” and “precise,” it said.
The LNA, which is led by Sen Haftar has been fighting government forces in the area where the strike happened. It had announced on Monday that it would start heavy air strikes on targets in Tripoli after “traditional means” of war had been exhausted.
The LNA said it’s warplanes had bombed a pro-government camp near the centre and pro-government forces had fired shells in response, hitting the migration centre by accident.