At least 100 migrants walk free from shelled detention center in Tripoli

African migrants who fled battle zones in Libya gather at a detention center in Zawiya, west of the capital Tripoli, on April 27, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

Libyan officials allowed at least 100 migrants to walk free on Tuesday from a detention center in the capital Tripoli that was hit by a deadly attack last week.

The airstrike, on July 3, killed 53 people and injured 130 others, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest death toll on Twitter.

Officials at the center, run by the UN-recognized Government of National Accord in an eastern suburb of Tripoli, said they took the decision after the migrants protested over not being included in an evacuation list by the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR).


Only 55 of the migrants were on the UNHCR list, said a local official at the detention center who requested not to be named.

“We opened the gates and let them go,” he told Reuters.

A resident of the Tajoura suburb in eastern Tripoli said migrants were seen marching from the detention center.

It was not immediately clear where they intended to go.

Following their departure, about 110 other migrants remain at the center, lying in the open air and using mattresses for shelter from the sun, the official said.

“They don’t want to go back inside the hangar as they’re afraid of any further airstrikes,” the official added.

The Libyan National Army and the UN-recognized government have blamed each other for the July 3 airstrike.

Libya is one of the main departure points for African migrants fleeing poverty and war to try to reach Italy by boat, but many are picked up and brought back by the Libyan coast guard, supported by the European Union.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
Top