266 injured, 56 killed in Libya’s Tripoli clashes: WHO

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Residents carry a coffin containing a body of a member of the Libyan pro-internationally recognised government forces who was killed during clashes, during funeral in Tripoli, Libya April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Residents carry a coffin containing a body of a member of the Libyan pro-internationally recognised government forces who was killed during clashes, during funeral in Tripoli, Libya April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that the clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government’s forces have killed 56 people.

“Heavy shelling and gunfire in the Libyan capital over the past six days have wounded 266 people and killed 56, including an ambulance driver and two medical doctors,” WHO said in a statement.

The statement went on to say that thousands of Libyans have fled their homes, while others are trapped in conflict areas.

“Hospitals inside and outside the city are receiving daily casualties,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, the UN Refugee Agency relocated more than 150 refugees from the Ain Zara detention centre in south Tripoli to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility in a nearby safe zone.

This situation is even more dire for health workers who continue to face difficulties under heavy bombardments.

WHO said that the organization has provided emergency supplies to field hospitals, warning that “the work of ambulances and hospital teams is being hampered by continuous shelling and armed clashes, including heavily populated residential areas.”

Last week, the army launched a military campaign to take over the capital Tripoli where the UN-backed government is based.

The army is allied with the eastern-based government, as the country is politically divided between western and eastern governments.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos since the fall of former leader Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, called for an end to the fighting on Thursday saying,”It’s still time to stop. It’s still time for a ceasefire to take place, for a cessation of hostilities to take place, and to avoid the worse, which would be a dramatic bloody battle for Tripoli.”

 

 

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