Skip to main content

Five-year-old among people killed in Tripoli bombing

The UN-backed government says Khalifa Haftar's forces were behind attack that killed seven in shelter for displaced people
A shelter housing hundreds of displaced families in Tripoli was bombed on 16 May (AFP/File)

A five-year-old Bangladeshi and six other people were killed when a shelter for the displaced was bombed in the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to the UN-backed government. 

The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) accused rival military commander Khalifa Haftar's forces of on Saturday bombing the facility as part of his campaign to take control of the city. 

The Bangladeshi child's father and younger sister were among the 17 injured in the attack, according to figures posted by GNA health ministry spokesman Ameen al-Hashim. 

Translation: Shells continue to fall on the Furnaj neighbourhood

According to Hashimi, the shelter was part of the local university and was donated to house hundreds of families displaced by fighting elsewhere.

Based in eastern Libya, Haftar launched an attempt to take the whole country more than a year ago, which has included bombarding parts of Tripoli. 

Recent fighting has drawn widespread criticism from governments and aid groups after more than a dozen people were killed earlier in May and two hospitals were damaged last week. 

"At least 80 people have been killed since January as a result of the fighting, and dozens more have been wounded," Tom Garofalo, Libya director for the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement. 

"This year so far there have now been 17 attacks on field hospitals, ambulances, healthcare workers and medical supplies - further decimating the country's already struggling health system," he said. 

The UN mission in Libya said "these attacks display a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights law and may amount to war crimes".

The UN warned in February that Tripoli has become "contaminated" with explosives due to the fighting.