WHO condemns attack on health workers and ambulance in Tripoli

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Smoke rises during a fight between members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces and Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ayman al-Sahili
Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

The World Health Organization condemned an attack on an ambulance in Tripoli, Libya that injured three health workers.

Wednesday’s attack brings to 12 the number of ambulances that have been impacted or suffered collateral damage since April 4 when the Libyan National Army launched an offensive to capture Tripoli.

“This attack on an ambulance with visible logos is a shocking and an intolerable violation of international humanitarian law. Not only did this attack injure key personnel, but the ambulance itself was taken away, thereby depriving patients of future care,” WHO Representative in Libya Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain said.

The WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari said violations of basic rules of warfare could jeopardize operations of field hospitals and ambulance teams, and deter health staff from performing their duties.

The WHO has been supporting field hospitals and field ambulance teams in Libya since the beginning of the conflict. Additionally, it is also providing health facilities with medical supplies, including trauma kits with medicines for war injuries.

The African Union has urged warring parties to protect civilians, create safe passages and facilitate humanitarian access to the population in need.

At least 443 people have been killed and about 2,110 others wounded due to violence near the capital.

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