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Airstrike On Migrant Detention Center In Libya Kills At Least 44 People
npr ^ | July 3, 2019 | Vanessa Romo ,Bill Chappell

Posted on 07/03/2019 5:41:18 PM PDT by BenLurkin

An airstrike on a migrant detention center in the Tajoura suburb of Libya's capital killed at least 44 people early Wednesday morning, according to the United Nations. More than 100 people were injured.

The strike hit a hangar within the Tajoura Detention Center, obliterating what had been a shelter that was housing roughly 120 people. The death toll has grown as local health authorities report casualties.

The U.N.-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli, has accused strongman Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army of carrying out the attack. As NPR's Jane Arraf reports, the migrants' hangar is next to a militia base. Haftar has denied involvement, blaming the strike on shelling by government forces.

Haftar's forces have been advancing on the capital since April. The strike comes two days after the general threatened a barrage of new bombings on his enemies, declaring that "traditional means" of war had been exhausted.

In videos posted online that are allegedly from the site of the attack, bodies are seen amid bloodstained rubble. The strike obliterated the structure of one hangar and collapsed parts of concrete walls and ceilings nearby. Another video posted by The Associated Press shows doctors scrambling to treat the wounded in a medical clinic.

The U.N. special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamé, issued a statement saying that the strike "clearly amounts to the level of a war crime," according to Reuters.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack: "This tragic and needless loss of life, which impacted one of the most vulnerable populations, underscores the urgent need for all Libyan parties to de-escalate fighting in Tripoli and return to the political process, which is the only viable path to lasting peace and stability in Libya."

Most of the migrants and refugees who were at the center are from Africa. "Libya is seen as the gateway to Europe," Arraf says, "so they risk everything to get to Libya, and they try to get on boats to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Most of them, these days, fail."

When the migrants' travels stall out in Libya, they're left in an unstable country locked in a violent war over its future. For several years, Haftar has been fighting to oust the U.N.-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

In a joint statement, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration said, "Our two organizations strongly condemn this and any attack on civilian life. We also call for an immediate end to detention of migrants and refugees.

Noting that the Tajoura facility houses more than 600 men, women and children who are either migrants or refugees, the agencies said they expect the death toll to rise.

In Tripoli, authorities called for the U.N. support mission in Libya to investigate the attack.

Hours later, U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric released a statement saying that Secretary-General António Guterres "condemns this horrendous incident in the strongest terms."

"The Secretary-General calls for an independent investigation of the circumstances of this incident, to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, noting that the United Nations had provided exact coordinates of the detention centre to the parties."

The fallout from the airstrike could weaken political support for Haftar, who has been backed by both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Arraf reports. The strike also highlights the migration crisis — and it puts renewed scrutiny on the European Union's response to that crisis.

When migrants' Europe-bound boats are stopped at sea, they're brought back to detention centers by the Libyan Coast Guard, which is being supported by the EU as it carries out the interceptions.

By working with Libya's government, the EU has tried to stem the flow of migrants and to disrupt human smuggling operations. But a Human Rights Watch report from earlier this year said the detention system had made things worse for migrants, exposing them to horrendous treatment and rights abuses.

"In reality, the externalization approach has the effect of avoiding the legal responsibilities that arise when migrants and asylum seekers reach EU territory by outsourcing migration control," Human Rights Watch said.

In response to the strike, Doctors Without Borders called for all refugees and migrants who are being held against their will in Libya to be evacuated elsewhere immediately, saying desperate people are being caught in the crossfire of war.

"Today, inaction and complacency has needlessly cost the lives of more vulnerable refugees and migrants," said Prince Alfani, the Libya medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, which is also known as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF. He added, "The reality is that for every person evacuated or resettled this year, more than twice as many have been forcibly returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard with support from the European Union."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: airstrike; arabspring; erdogan; haftar; haftiar; hillaryclinton; khalifahaftar; khalifahaftiar; kurdistan; libya; obamalegacy; receptayyiperdogan; turkey
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1 posted on 07/03/2019 5:41:18 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Obama/Hillary’s Fault


2 posted on 07/03/2019 5:42:00 PM PDT by butlerweave
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To: butlerweave

Obama/Hillary/McCain/Graham/Rubio’s Fault


3 posted on 07/03/2019 5:44:53 PM PDT by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here Of Citizen Parents_Know Islam, No Peace-No Islam, Know Peace)
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To: BenLurkin

What’s the problem here?


4 posted on 07/03/2019 5:45:14 PM PDT by dynachrome (Build the wall, deport them all.)
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To: dynachrome

It wasn’t one on the mexican border.


5 posted on 07/03/2019 5:49:55 PM PDT by dp0622 (Bad, bad company Till the day I die.)
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To: BenLurkin

At least they weren’t drinking from a toilet...


6 posted on 07/03/2019 5:50:15 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: dp0622

Ha!


7 posted on 07/03/2019 5:52:49 PM PDT by dynachrome (Build the wall, deport them all.)
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To: BenLurkin
Sweet! It's a start.
 
8 posted on 07/03/2019 5:53:34 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie (September 11, 2001 : Never forget, never forgive.)
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To: BenLurkin

The real problem is that Israel will probably be blamed and a new round of missile fire will target them.


9 posted on 07/03/2019 5:54:08 PM PDT by dynachrome (Build the wall, deport them all.)
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To: BenLurkin

When was the last time NPR reported on ISSIS raids against Christians ?


10 posted on 07/03/2019 5:54:21 PM PDT by mosesdapoet (mosesdapoet aka L,J,Keslin posting for the record hoping some might read and pass around)
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To: fhayek

Well played!


11 posted on 07/03/2019 5:55:21 PM PDT by Ancient Man
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To: BenLurkin
The U.N.-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli, has accused strongman Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army of carrying out the attack.

NPR worded it that way because they're not quite sure Trump wasn't flying the plane.

12 posted on 07/03/2019 5:56:50 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: BenLurkin

If they were REALLY serious, NP would send that detention camp inspection team/Congresscritters to investigate the conditions.

May knock out 3 birds with one stone and solve a few problems even if we create a ‘martyr’ or two or three or however many.


13 posted on 07/03/2019 5:59:03 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98"HRC is cast as the Grandmother that lures Hansel & Gretel to the pot")
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To: dynachrome

more relevant is the US being blamed since we, you know, destroyed the most prosperous nation on the continent of Africa and turned it into a perpetual chaotic bloodbath... haha oops

maybe one day they’ll even open Her records and tell us the truth of why it happened


14 posted on 07/03/2019 5:59:19 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The Clinton Coup attempt was a worse attack on the USA than was 9/11)
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To: thoughtomator

15 posted on 07/03/2019 6:01:42 PM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire. Or both.)
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To: Lurkinanloomin; All
Yes. AS all who follow what I post know I have no liking for the muzzards. But a clique of the evil and the greedy generated a fake war in Libya and its net result is a broken country and perpetual battling between factions. I have no use for the
‘America the Guilty’ mantra. However, the US under GWB and his neocon ‘Democracy Project’ and BHO with his ‘Arab Spring’ are responsible for breaking 3 or 4 nations and producing a situation of near perpetual war or a kind of medieval near war across the Mid East. These people have put a lot of blood on the hands of the US. Sorry if that sounds harsh on the eve of the Fourth, but I am beyond rage at what our leaders have done in our name.
16 posted on 07/03/2019 6:02:51 PM PDT by robowombat (Orthodox)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Thanks RightGeek:

Clinton: Being a Capitalist Probably Hurt Me in 2016 Because So Many Democrats Are Socialists | freebeacon | Posted on 05/02/2018 2:55:43 PM PDT by Sub-Driver | 29 posted on 05/02/2018 3:15:30 PM PDT by RightGeek

17 posted on 07/03/2019 6:03:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: thoughtomator

For muzzies, they blame Israel and America together.


18 posted on 07/03/2019 6:12:33 PM PDT by dynachrome (Build the wall, deport them all.)
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To: BenLurkin

“At this point, what difference does it make?”


19 posted on 07/03/2019 6:19:44 PM PDT by Western Phil
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To: BenLurkin

OH MY GOD. Time for a no fly zone!!!


20 posted on 07/03/2019 6:20:50 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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