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LIBYA

Migrants in Libya shot as fighting rages

Libyan National Army members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, on their way from Benghazi to reinforce troops advancing on Tripoli.
Libyan National Army members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, on their way from Benghazi to reinforce troops advancing on Tripoli. ©REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Migrants and refugees have been shot and wounded in a detention centre south of Tripoli as Libyan fighters battle for control of the capital, according to the organisation Doctors Without Borders.

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Clashes between Libya's Tripoli-based unity government forces and fighters of military commander Khalifa Haftar have raged since 4 April, when Haftar launched an assault to seize the capital.

The UN and international NGOs have warned that thousands of migrants and refugees who fled violence at home and are now trapped in Libyan detention centres are facing enormous dangers and must be evacuated.

On Wednesday the UN refugee agency UNHCR said it had evacuated 325 asylum seekers from the Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre a day after an attack against refugees and migrants. It was not clear who carried out the assault.

"While there were no bullet wounds, 12 refugees endured physical attacks that required hospital treatment," a statement said.

But on Friday Doctors Without Borders said "an analysis of existing photographic and video evidence by medical staff concluded that injuries shown are consistent with gunshot wounds.

"These observations are further supported by numerous accounts from refugees and migrants who witnessed the event and reported being brutally and indiscriminately attacked with the use of fire arms," the organisation said.

Doctors Without Borders published video footage showing several people bleeding from what appeared to be bullet holes in limbs and other parts of their bodies.

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