Airstrike hits Libyan migrant detention center
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 7/03/19, 12:19 pm
An airstrike on Wednesday that hit a detention center for migrants near the Libyan capital of Tripoli killed at least 44 people and wounded more than 130, according to the UN mission to the country. It wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible for the strike, but the Tripoli-based government blamed Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s so-called Libyan National Army and called for the UN to investigate. Hifter receives support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Russia.
The airstrike hit a workshop containing weapons and vehicles, as well as an adjacent hangar housing mostly Sudanese and Moroccan migrants, according to witnesses. Doctors Without Borders said the detention center held 126 migrants. The airstrike raises concerns about the European Union’s partnership with Libyan militias to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean Sea, often leaving them stranded in detention centers in Africa.
Hifter’s forces attacked the Tripoli-based government in April and control much of Libya’s east and south. They suffered a significant loss last week when militias supporting the Tripoli government reclaimed the town of Gharyan, a key supply route.
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