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Airstrike on Libya migrant centre kills 40

TRIPOLI: An airstrike on a detention centre for migrants in the Libyan capital has killed at least 40 people, according to the country’s UN-supported government.

The airstrike targeting the detention centre in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighbourhood, also wounded 80 migrants, said Malek Merset, a spokesman for the health ministry.

Merset posted photos of migrants being taken in ambulances to hospitals.

The UN refugee agency in Libya condemned the airstrike on the detention centre, which houses 616 migrants and refugees.

The Tripoli-based government blamed the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter, for the strike and called for the UN support mission in Libya to establish a fact-finding committee to investigate.

Hifter’s forces control much of the country’s east and south but were dealt a significant blow last week when militias allied with the Tripoli government reclaimed the strategic town of Gharyan, about 100 kilometers from the capital.

At least 6,000 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and other nations are locked in detention facilities in Libya , mostly after being apprehended by European Union-funded guards while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea.

The detention centres have limited food and other supplies for the migrants, who made often-arduous journeys at the mercy of abusive traffickers who hold them for ransom money from families back home.

The UN refugee agency has said that more than 3,000 migrants are in danger because they are in centres close to the front lines between Hifter’s forces and the militias allied with the Tripoli government. (Source: Australian Media)

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