Categorized | Libya

Libya: Shelling Kills at Least 7 at Displaced People Shelter

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers.

A five-year-old boy from Bangladesh was among the victims, according to the spokesman for Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

At least seven civilians were killed Saturday in a shelling that targetted a shelter for displaced people in Tripoli’s Fornaj district, Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) said Sunday, blaming the tragedy on eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) under military commander Khalifa Haftar.

A five-year-old boy from Bangladesh was among the victims, according to the spokesman for the GNA’s health ministry, Amin al-Hashemi, who wrote on Twitter that 17 other civilians were wounded.

Located near a front line, Fornaj district is home to people displaced during earlier bouts of fighting, according to the spokesman for Tripoli’s emergency and ambulance service, Usama Ali.

Ali told Reuters the emergency services were trying to evacuate the shelter of the remaining people and relocate them somewhere else in the city.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, international pleas have been made by the European Union and other countries involved, urging both warring parties for a ceasefire yet fighting continues in Tripoli. 

Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France, and Russia, has been fighting off a year-long offensive over Tripoli, the last stronghold of the GNA, which is backed by Turkey, Qatar, and Italy.

From 2014 and on, Libya has had two political power centers, the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, that is having a hard time governing the capital city and some western areas, and another government in Tobruk, an eastern city which has remained under Haftar’s control.

The North-African nation which has major oil reserves had been under foreign rule for centuries and gained independence in 1951. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969 and ruled the country for four decades until he was ousted in 2011 by Western military intervention. 

According to the United Nations, more than 280 civilians and about 2,000 fighters have been killed and 146,000 Libyans displaced since last year when Haftar launched his assault to seize the capital.

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