UN condemns attacks on civilians in Libya

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Photo taken on May 9, 2020 shows a damaged car after heavy shelling in Bab Ben Ghashir of Tripoli, capital of Libya. Three civilians were killed and dozens of others were injured by indiscriminate shelling that hit the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday, a local official said. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Saturday condemned attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Libya, as the deadly armed conflict between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government continues.

“UNSMIL renews its strong condemnation of attacks impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure and reiterates its call for those responsible for crimes under international law to be brought to justice,” UNSMIL said in a statement.

“According to reports and in what has become an all too familiar but frightening spectacle, forces affiliated to the LNA (Libyan National Army) bombarded Mitiga airport today as a civilian plane was preparing to depart Tripoli,” the statement revealed.

The UNSMIL said Saturday’s heavy shelling is one in a series of indiscriminate attacks, most of which are attributable to the eastern-based army, killing more than 15 and injuring 50 civilians since May 1.

Heavy shelling on Saturday hit Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport, causing civilian casualties and significant material damage to the only functioning airport in the capital, according to the UN-backed government’s forces.

Also, missiles hit different parts of Tripoli, killing at least three civilians and injuring dozens others, according to a local official.

Local residents said that heavy shelling could be heard in many areas in Tripoli and huge smoke could be seen rising from the airport.

For over a year, the eastern-based army has been leading a military campaign in and around Tripoli, in an attempt to take control of the city and topple UN-backed government.

The fighting continues between the two rivals and civilians remain targeted in and around Tripoli, despite repeated international calls to end the deadly armed conflict.

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