3 June 2019

Libya: 149 Victims Rescued From War Torn Tripoli

Tripoli — SOME 65 children are among 149 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers evacuated from Libya amid violent clashes in a deteriorating security situation in the capital Tripoli.

Of these evacuees are 13 below a year in age.

One of the children was born two months ago.

The evacuees are from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. They have been taken to safety in Rome, Italy.

Many of them need urgent medical treatment and are suffering from malnourishment.

"More humanitarian evacuations are needed," said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Chief of Mission (UNHCRCM) in Libya.

"They (medical treatment) are a vital lifeline for refugees whose only other escape route is to put their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers on the Mediterranean Sea."

With the fighting in Tripoli showing no sign of stopping, the risks of detainees being caught up in the clashes are rising.

Nearly 600 people have lost their lives in the recent clashes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Last week, two ambulance drivers died after being caught up in shelling attacks.

More than 83 000 Libyans have been forced to flee their homes since early April, as rival forces continue to engage in fighting and heavy shelling.

The oil-rich North African country is mired in crisis since the fatal overthrowing on the longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Gaddafi was violently removed by US-French led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) extremists.

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