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The Latest: African Union calls for probe of Libya airstrike

By The News · 06 of July 2019 03:38:24
AP Photo,, No available, Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura, east of Tripoli Wednesday, July 3, 2019. An airstrike hit the detention center for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed)

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — The Latest on developments in Libya, where an airstrike on a migrant detention center in Tripoli killed at least 40 people. (all times local):

11 a.m.

The head of the African Union is condemning an airstrike that hit a detention center for migrants in the Libyan capital, killing at least 40 people.

In a statement, Moussa Faki Mahamat called for an independent investigation into the airstrike on the Tajoura detention center and said those responsible for the “horrific crime” should be held to account.

He also demanded an immediate cease-fire in Tripoli, where the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter, launched an offensive in April. His forces are battling militias loosely allied with a weak U.N.-supported government based in Tripoli.

The Tripoli government blamed the airstrike on Hifter’s forces. LNA spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.


10 a.m.

The U.N. refugee agency is calling for an immediate end to bringing migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean back to Libya after an airstrike hit a detention center, killing at least 40 people.

Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the UNHCR, noted that the agency had warned less than two months ago that anyone inside the Tajoura detention center was at risk of being caught in the fighting around Tripoli. Then, an airstrike that hit nearby injured two migrants among more than 500 people detained there.

Yaxley says UNHCR is sending medical teams to the site after the latest airstrike.

Europe is equipping and training the Libyan coast guard, which has intercepted thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean and taken them back to detention centers in Libya, where many languish without sufficient food or medical care.


2:40 a.m.

A Libyan health official says an airstrike has hit a detention center for migrants in a suburb of the capital of Tripoli, killing at least 40 people.

Malek Merset, a spokesman for the health ministry of the U.N.-supported government, says the airstrike on the Tajoura detention center also wounded 80 migrants.

In a statement, the U.N.-supported government blamed the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by commander Khalifa Hifter, for the airstrike.

Libya is split between two warring governments and Hifter’s forces control much of the country’s east and south.