Several Moroccans were among those injured in an airstrike on a detention center in Libya that killed dozens of migrants.
Rabat – A facility housing hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers, including women and children, was the site of a horrific attack the morning of Wednesday, July 3. At least 44 were killed and 130 injured, including several Moroccan citizens.
Opposition leader General Khalifa Haftar’s forces were blamed for the airstrike. Haftar countered the accusation, claiming Government of National Accord (GNA) forces were responsible.
The United Nations has said that the attack could constitute a war crime.
Eric Goldstein of Human Rights Watch called the attack “a tragic but foreseeable consequence of fighting among heavily armed factions with scant regard for civilian lives, whether Libyan or foreign.
Libya has been in an ongoing state of turmoil that escalated following the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Recently the country plunged into yet another civil war. Tripoli has turned into a battlefield as General Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) fights to wrest control of the capitol from the UN-backed GNA.
Located just east of Tripoli in the town of Tajoura, the detention center held over 600 migrants. Government-run detention centers in Libya house thousands of migrants.
This includes people hoping to travel onwards to their final destination, as well as individuals sent back to Libya after trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat.
The Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco in Tunis confirmed eighteen Moroccan citizens were living at the center in Tajoura at the time of the attack.
“Two Moroccans were gravely injured, and four others were slightly injured. All the injured have been admitted to hospital for treatment,” the Consulate said in a statement.
Bodies are still being recovered from the site of the attack. Currently none of the victims identified were Moroccans.
One of the injured was 26-year-old Moroccan Al-Mahdi Hafyan. He had been at the center for three months. Along with the other Moroccans injured, he was taken to a hospital.
Hafyan described the carnage at the center to AFP news agency, saying there were “bodies, blood and pieces of flesh everywhere.”
The Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco in Tunis will continue to report any new developments.