UNHCR evacuates 325 refugees from Libyan capital

  25 April 2019    Read: 1227
UNHCR evacuates 325 refugees from Libyan capital

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) evacuated 325 refugees from the Qasr bin Ghashir detention center on the southern outskirts of Libya’s capital Wednesday amid deteriorating security and escalating violence, Anadolu Agency reports. 

The relocation was carried out following reports Tuesday of armed violence against the detainees, who were protesting conditions at the center, the UNHCR said in a statement.

"The dangers for refugees and migrants in Tripoli have never been greater than they are at present," said Matthew Brook, UNHCR Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya.

"It is vital that refugees in danger can be released and evacuated to safety," he added.

The refugees have been transferred to another detention facility in Azzawya, northwestern Libya, where they are at reduced risk of being caught up in the hostilities and were provided with key aid items and medical care, according to the statement.

More than 825 refugees have been evacuated in the past two weeks from different detention centers near the conflict zones.

The UN has also expressed concern for some 3,000 refugees and migrants who remain in detention centers in Tripoli.

In early April, Khalifa Haftar, commander of forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government, launched a campaign to capture Tripoli, where the rival UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.

Intermittent fighting near Tripoli has left scores of people dead.

The UN has expressed fear that this new conflict will create another migration crisis.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

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