The United States has condemned an attack on a migrant detention centre in Libya that killed 44 people including nine Nigerians and wounded at least 100 people.
In a statement made available to SaharaReporters, the President Donald Trump administration said: “The United States strongly condemns the abhorrent attack on a migrant detention facility in Tajoura, Libya, which reportedly killed 44 and injured more than 100 innocent civilians. We extend our deepest condolences to families of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.
“This tragic and needless loss of life, which impacted one of the most vulnerable populations, underscores the urgent need for all Libyan parties to de-escalate fighting in Tripoli and return to the political process, which is the only viable path to lasting peace and stability in Libya.”
Nine Nigerians were among those killed in a double air strike on a detention centre outside Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
Deaths from the attack which was carried out on the hapless civilians late Tuesday has been reviewed to 53 from 44.
More bodies are still being pulled out of the rubble, indicating that the body count has not stopped.
Worst still, the United Nations said in a new report on the war crime that guards fired on migrants trying to flee the site of the explosion.
BBC reports that the first missile landed in a garage beside the camp, while a second struck a hanger occupied by at list 120 European dream seekers.
Two of the migrants informed the British broadcaster that they were coerced to work for a local militia. At list 500 more stranded migrants are vulnerable to attacks according to the UN report.
“There are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape,” the UN report said.
“Humanitarian actors call for the immediate release of refugees and migrants from detention centres and for relocation to safe shelter,” the report added. Fathi Bashagha, Libya’s Minister of Interior, was quoted by the Libyan Observer, as saying that the government is considering closing all detention centres.
While people smugglers try to get migrants who are mainly from Nigerian and other Subsaharan African countries, to Europe in crammed rubber boats, Libyan coast guards funded by the European Union, intercept these dingy inflatable contraptions and return them to detention camps. With funding from the EU bloc, Libyans found a new venture in setting up deportation camps.
Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry which has no communications link has failed to put out any press release or Tweet on the killings at press time— leaving the report by the BBC as its only mouthpiece.
Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj’s National Accord and War Lord Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, have blamed each other for the attack.
The Washington Post in a piece published Thursday noted that the militia the migrants were working for, was on the side of Al-Sarraj.
The combatants used the hangar adjacent to the camp house to store ammunition, this would most likely have made it a target for the LNA.
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)