Tripoli [Libya]: At least 60 people were killed and 77 others sustained injuries after Libyan guards opened fire on migrants and refugees attempting to flee from air strikes on a detention centre near the country’s capital city of Tripoli, United Nations said on Thursday.
A report from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the refugees and migrants “were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape” the first impact of the airstrikes carried out at Tajoura detention centre on Tuesday.
Among the dead are at least six children. Bodies are still being recovered from the rubble and the death toll is expected to rise, the report suggests, as cited by Al Jazeera.
The security guards at the detention centre have refuted the claims made in the UN report. Additionally, Country’s Interior Ministry has carried out a statement in which it has categorically denied all the allegations.
Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) had earlier blamed Khalifa Haftar-led Libyan National Army (LNA) for the airstrikes. The LNA has denied the accusations, saying it targeted a nearby militia’s position but did not attack the hangar where the migrants were being held.
Libya is facing an unstable political and security situation. The country has been largely divided into two factions ever since the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The LNA controls the eastern part of Libya, while the UN-backed GNA governs Libya’s western region from Tripoli.
Fighting broke out between the LNA and GNA after Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in April to retake Tripoli. More than 90,000 people have been displaced ever since the fighting broke out, while over 650 people have lost their lives.
The international community has urged for a peaceful resolution to the intense fighting which has ensued in the African nation.