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Two children killed in shelling south of Tripoli

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Two children were killed and three wounded, including a girl, in a bomb attack on Tuesday south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, a health ministry spokesman said.

Al-Hashemi told AFP that “indiscriminate shells hit one house in Salah al-Din area, killing two children on the spot and seriously wounding a third girl, in addition to injuring their parents.”

“The shells fell at dawn today and the ambulance and emergency services took the injured to a private medical clinic for treatment.”

Wefaq government forces accused forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar of bombing the house and causing casualties.

“The death of children in Salah al-Din after mortar shells fired by the militia of war criminal Haftar, coinciding with the bombing of the airport Mitiga international,” the government said on Facebook.

It also published photos showing the destruction of a house and the collapse of parts of it.

An airstrike killed three children and wounded five in Tripoli last week, and the Wefaq government accused Haftar’s forces of carrying them out, but the latter denied accusing the Wefaq government of bombing the civilian site in an attempt to accuse its forces.

On Tuesday, UNICEF counted seven children killed and dozens injured in the past two weeks in Libya.

“The violence over the past two weeks has caused casualties among children in Tripoli,” said Ted Shiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The recent attacks represent a reminder that children in Libya continue to pay the highest price as violence continues in a number of western regions of the country,” he said in a statement received by AFP.

“Children are not a target and must be protected at all times,” he said. “All parties to the conflict must refrain from attacks on civilian infrastructure, including people’s homes, schools and medical facilities.”

In a related context, the forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched air strikes targeting Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli.

“The air force carried out raids on weapons depots and facilities in the military section of Mitiga airport used by militias to store equipment and missiles for Turkish drones,” Major General Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for Haftar’s forces, said in a statement.

The spokesman warned of “the attempt of armed groups to endanger or threaten the security and safety of armed forces or civilians, by bringing in any type of weapons and ammunition from abroad,” stressing “to monitor all movements of militants and targeting weapons and equipment at any time.”

Fighting between forces loyal to the reconciliation government and those loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which continues for the seventh month, resulted in the deaths of 1093 people and injured 5762, including civilians, while the number of displaced nearly 120 thousand people, according to statistics of the United Nations agencies last July.

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