At least 40 migrants killed in air strike at detention centre in Libya, health official says

Workers gather at a detention center after an airstrike in Tajoura, east of Tripoli Wednesday Credit: Hazem Ahmed/AP

At least 40 people have been killed after an air strike hit a detention centre for migrants in the Libyan capital, a health official in the country’s UN-supported government said.

The air strike targeting the facility in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighbourhood also wounded 80 migrants, said Malek Merset, a spokesman for the health ministry.

Mr Merset also shared photos of migrants being taken in ambulances to hospitals.

Workers gather at a detention centre after an airstrike in Tajoura, east of Tripoli on Wednesday. Credit: AP

The Tripoli-based government blamed the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Hifter, for the air strike and called for the UN to investigate.

A spokesman for Hifter’s forces did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Local media reported the LNA had launched air strikes against a militia camp near the detention centre.

The air strike occurred in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighbourhood, officials said. Credit: AP

The LNA launched an offensive against the government in April.

Hifter’s forces control much of the country’s east and south but were dealt a significant blow last week when militias allied with the government reclaimed the strategic town of Gharyan, about 62 miles from the capital.

The UN has been urged to investigate. Credit: AP

Gharyan had been a key supply route for the LNA forces.

The fighting for Tripoli has threatened to plunge Libya into another bout of violence on the scale of the 2011 conflict that ousted longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi and led to his death.