Published: July 10, 2019
The complex was hit by an air strike last week that killed 53 people
Libyan officials on Tuesday allowed at least 100 migrants to leave a detention centre in Tripoli that was hit in a deadly air strike last week.
The attack, on July 3, killed 53 people and injured 130 others, the World Health Organisation said on Twitter.
It happened as eastern forces under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar keep up a ground and aerial offensive to wrest control of the Libyan capital from the United Nations-backed government.
Officials at the centre, run by the Government of National Accord in an eastern suburb of the capital, said they made the decision after the migrants protested over their exclusion from an evacuation list by the UN refugee agency.
Only 55 of the migrants were on the UNHCR list, said an official at the detention centre who asked not to be named.
“We opened the gates and let them go,” he told Reuters.
A resident from Tajoura, a suburb in eastern Tripoli, said migrants had been seen marching from the detention centre.
Following their departure, about 110 other migrants remain at the complex, lying in the open air and using mattresses to shelter from the sun, the official said.
“They don’t want to go back inside the hangar as they’re afraid of any further air strikes,” the official added.
Field Marshal Haftar’s forces and the UN-backed government have blamed each other for the July 3 attack.
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 coastguard with the support of the European Union. source