The United Nations has condemned the shelling of a hospital in Tripoli, calling it a “clear violation of international law” as Libya struggles to prepare for an outbreak of the new coronavirus.
On Monday, rockets struck Al-Khadra General Hospital located in an area held by the internationally recognised government near a front line, injuring at least six health workers.
Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news conference held via video link that the UN was “appalled” to learn of the shelling.
He read out a statement by Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Yacoub El Hillo.
“At a moment when people in Libya needed nothing more than a safe home and functioning medical facilities, we received the news of yet another attack on a hospital,” the statement said.
“This is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. It is unacceptable at a time when healthcare and health workers are vital in our fight against a global pandemic,” said Laerke quoting El Hillo.
“A deplorable strike like this, resulting in senseless damage of a most needed medical facility, cannot be justified,” said Laerke.
The local council of Abu Salim district said the hospital was hit by rockets fired by Khalifa Haftar’s forces that have been attempting to capture Tripoli since April 2019.