The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday said seventeen attacks on hospitals and health facilities have been recorded in Tripoli and its suburbs since January this year, reported Africa News.
“There have been 17 attacks and strikes against health facilities in Libya since the beginning of the year and these attacks continue,” UNSMIL said in a statement.
Eastern Libyan strongman, Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan national Army (LNA) launched an offensive to seize Tripoli, where the UN-recognized Government of National Unity (GNA) is headquartered.
The two warring sides are seeking to get complete control of the oil-rich country, which has been in chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. The health facilities have been transformed into arenas for deadly fighting between the two sides in Libya for more than a year.
The UN mission raised concern over Thursday’s attack “against the Tripoli Central Hospital (TCH) while different areas of the capital were under rocket fire.”
The international body condemned all acts that endanger the lives of civilians and prevent access to emergency services.
In an interview with the AFP, GNA Health Ministry spokesman Amine al-Hachemi said the indiscriminate shelling of certain areas in Tripoli partially damaged the HCT, including the buildings of the communicable diseases and dermatology departments.
The GNA blamed the strikes on pro-Haftar forces, an accusation denied by the spokesman for the Eastern Libyan strongman.
Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have been frequent since the beginning of Haftar’s Tripoli offensive, but have intensified in recent weeks. As per reports, at least 19 people — 17 civilians and two police officers — have been killed and more than 66 civilians wounded as rockets striked Tripoli’s only working airport and several nearby residential areas.
In related news, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance NATO, on Thursday confirmed support for Libya’s government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the military alliance.