Forty people have lost their lives and 80 others sustained injuries when an airstrike struck a detention facility for illegal migrants in a eastern suburb of the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Libyan officials said the aerial assault took place late on Tuesday, and targeted the center in the Tajoura suburb of the city.
Several bodies lay on the floor of the hangar in the area as ambulances rushed to the scene. Pictures published by the authorities also showed African migrants being treated in a hospital after the strike.
Center officials blamed the raid on militiamen loyal to the renegade commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar.
Forces loyal to Libyan renegade General Khalifa Haftar say they have destroyed a Turkish drone in Tripoli and arrested two Turkish nationals.
Haftar launched his deadly campaign on April 4, when he ordered his loyalists to invade Tripoli and seize it from troops aligned to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). Since then, fighting has killed 653 people, wounded more than 2,000 and displaced over 93,000, according to the United Nations.
Libyan government forces recently dealt a major blow to the LNA by retaking the strategic town of Gharyan, a supply line for Haftar’s forces on the Tripoli front.
Haftar’s offensive has upended UN-led plans to stabilize Libya after years of conflict that have left the oil-rich nation divided and caused living standards to plummet.
UN reports have previously said that the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been arming Haftar’s forces since 2014.
Forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar are pushing forward to seize capital Tripoli with Egyptian, UAE and Saudi arms.
The New York Times, confirming the discovery of sophisticated US missiles and weaponry at a base in southern Tripoli by the GNA forces in a report on June 30, said the UAE’s Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba had declined to answer questions about the provenance of the missiles.