Filipinos in Libya urged to stay home as deadly clashes kill 32

A picture shows a view of car carcasses following clashes between backers of rival governments in Libya’s capital Tripoli, on August 28, 2022. – Flights resumed and shops re-opened in Libya’s capital after clashes between backers of rival governments killed at least 32 people and sparked fears of major new conflict. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP)

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday night urged Filipinos in Libya to take shelter at home as deadly clashes in the capital killed 32.

In a text message to reporters, DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said no Filipino has been reported among the casualties.

“The DFA strongly urges our kababayans to take shelter at home or in other safe places while the fighting is ongoing and to contact our Embassy through its hotline numbers for immediate assistance,” she said.

The Libyan Health Ministry said at least 32 were killed while 159 were injured since heavy clashes erupted between rival militias in several districts in Tripoli.

According to the United Nations-backed Government of National Unity, the violence was “triggered by a military group firing random fire at Rutel Mar in the Zawia Street area, while armed groups were gathering at the 27th gate west of Tripoli and the Gypsies Gate south of Tripoli”.

The UN in Libya, meanwhile, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities as it reminded all parties of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect civilians.

“The United Nations in Libya is deeply concerned about ongoing armed clashes including indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighborhoods in Tripoli, reportedly causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian facilities including hospitals,” it said.

“It is also imperative that all parties also refrain from using any form of hate speech and incitement to violence,” it added.

Libya has been in turmoil since the fall of its former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

There are at least 2,164 Filipinos in Libya, mostly health care professionals, university instructors and skilled workers in the oil and gas sector.

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)

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