APA

African Press Association
Libya rebels

Death toll rising in Libya hostilities

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 100 civilians have been killed in at least 33 air and ground strikes since rival factions began the battle for the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in April.

Human rights groups said they had unearthed evidence of potential war crimes by both the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA).

They have been fighting in and around the city.

“Our on-the-ground investigation on both sides of the frontline revealed a systematic disregard for international law fuelled by the continued supply of weapons to both sides in violation of a UN arms embargo,” said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

The organisation stated that scores of civilians had been killed and injured as both sides used weapons from unguided rockets to modern drone-launched guided missiles in attacks that could amount to war crimes.

Children as young as two years old playing outside their homes, mourners attending a funeral and ordinary people going about their daily activities were among those unlawfully killed or injured.

The deadliest such attack was a missile strike on a field hospital near the closed Tripoli International Airport on July 27 .

It killed five medics and rescuers while injuring eight more.

Despite a comprehensive UN arms embargo in place since 2011, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey have been supporting the LNA and GNA, respectively, through illicit arms transfers and direct military support.

The North African country is battling instability since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered in 2011.

– CAJ News