World, Middle East, Africa

UN: 23 health facilities shelled in Libya in year

63 incidents on medical facilities, staff, equipment since April 2019 kill 80, injure 61, says UN Support Mission in Libya

Enes Canli   | 20.04.2020
UN: 23 health facilities shelled in Libya in year

ANKARA  - The UN Support Mission in Libya reported that 23 attacks had been carried out on health facilities in the war-torn country over the last year, with nine in the last four months alone.

"One attack on health is too many. Royal private hospital in Ain Zara, Trek al Shok shelled, yesterday. 23 health facilities shelled in #Libya since April 2019, killing 80 people and injuring 61," said the UN Support Mission in Libya on Twitter.

"63 conflict incidents on field hospitals, health care workers, ambulances& medical supplies, since April 2019, killing 80 people, injuring 61 &affecting 23 health facilities. 9 of these in 2020, killing 5 people, injuring 12 others," it added.

A "humanitarian truce" starting March 22 to halt clashes between the parties fighting in Libya had been proposed by the UN due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) had announced that it accepted the proposal. Despite renegade general Khalifa Haftar's announcement that he also accepted the case-fire, forces loyal to him launched airstrikes on Tripoli only minutes later.

A day after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Libya on March 23, pro-Haftar militias carried out one of the most intense attacks on the capital Tripoli.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: renegade general Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar's forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

International efforts to reach a ceasefire have been stymied by Haftar's side flouting the process.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China in December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University showed worldwide infections surging past 2.38 million, with more than 55,100 deaths. Over 221,200 people have recovered.



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