UN mission in Libya: 17 attacks on health centres this year

UN mission in Libya: 17 attacks on health centres this year
Seventeen attacks against health facilities have been recorded in Libya since the start of this year.
2 min read
Libya is wrecked with war [Getty]

Seventeen attacks have been recorded since January against health facilities in Tripoli and its suburbs, the scene of deadly fighting for over a year, the UN mission in Libya said Friday.

There have been "17 attacks/shelling on health facilities" in Libya since the start of this year, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said on Twitter, adding that Central Tripoli Hospital was hit Thursday.

Strongman Khalifa Haftar controls swathes of eastern Libya and in April last year launched an offensive to seize the capital Tripoli, seat of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

The GNA blamed the strikes on forces loyal to Haftar, but a spokesperson for the strongman denied the accusations.

GNA health ministry spokesman Amin al-Hashemi said that the "indiscriminate bombing of certain sectors of Tripoli partially damaged the HCT (central hospital), in particular the buildings for communicable diseases and dermatology".

The UN mission decried "all actions that put civilians in harm's way and prevent people from accessing life-saving services".

The oil-rich North African nation has been gripped by chaos since the 2011 ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival administrations in the east and west vying for power.

Strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure have been frequent since the start of Haftar's Tripoli offensive, but have intensified in recent weeks.

This month, at least 19 people -- 17 civilians and two police officers -- have been killed and more than 66 civilians wounded as rockets have rained down on Tripoli's only working airport and several residential neighbourhoods.

In addition to the violence, most areas of the capital went without power for more than 36 hours from Wednesday due to a heat wave.

Tripoli suffers from a lack of electricity, particularly when demand peaks in the summer.

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