Migrants still detained at site of deadly Libyan air strike

By Imed Lamloum (AFP)

Hundreds of migrants were still held Thursday in a centre days after it was hit by an air strike that killed 44 people, amid outrage over the plight of those still trapped in Libya.

The announcement by a UN agency came as the internationally recognised government based in the capital Tripoli said it is considering closing migrant detention centres in the North African country.

The Government of National Accord “is currently reviewing the closure of shelters and the release of illegal migrants to ensure their safety and security,” GNA interior minister Fathi Bachagha said.

The GNA does not have the capacity to protect migrants from air raids, Bachagha said during a meeting with Maria do Valle Ribeiro, assistant to the UN special envoy to Libya, according to a statement from the ministry.

At least 44 migrants were killed and more than 130 wounded Tuesday night in the air strike that targeted a hangar in a detention centre in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura.

On Thursday, around 300 migrants were still being held there, the International Organization for Migration said.

Of the 600 migrants that were in the centre, “300 were still there” Thursday and receiving humanitarian assistance from the IOM, Safa Msehli, communications director for the UN agency in Libya, told AFP.

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