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UN Security Council to hold urgent talks on Libya migrant massacre

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday. [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 July, 2019

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The Tripoli government has blamed rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar for the attack on the detention centre, which killed at least 44 migrants and refugees.
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss an airstrike on a detention centre in Libya that killed scores of migrants, diplomats said.

The meeting requested by Peru, which holds the council presidency, will be held behind closed doors from 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).

Council members will hear a briefing from representatives of the UN refugee agency and the UN political affairs department.

At least 44 people were killed when the strike hit the Tajoura detention centre east of Tripoli late on Tuesday and more than 130 were severely injured, the UN said.

Tajoura held at least 600 refugees and migrants, including women and children. UN agencies said they expected the death toll from the attack to rise.

Tensions have soared in Libya since forces loyal to rogue commander Khalifa Haftar, who holds sway in the east of the country, launched an offensive in April to seize Tripoli, held by a UN-recognized government and various militias.

World powers have been divided on how to respond to Haftar's military campaign, with the United States and Russia refusing to back UN calls for a ceasefire. 

The Tripoli government has blamed Haftar for the attack on the detention centre. 

UN envoy Ghassan Salame has called for an independent investigation and warned that the attack may constitute a war crime.

Amnesty International said on Wednesday that the attack on the centre "must be investigated as a war crime."

Magdalena Mughrabi, the group's deputy Middle East and North Africa director, says the deaths are the "consequences of Libya and Europe's callous migration policies."

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