2017-06-30 Africa North||Gunmen open fire on U.N. convoy in Libya
[AFRICANEWS] Gunmen opened fired on a United Nations|
...the Oyster Bay money pit...
convoy on a coastal road west of the Libyan capital, Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, on Wednesday, an incident that could complicate the gradual return of diplomatic and other international staff to Libya.
"The U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) confirms that a U.N. convoy was hit today travelling between Surman and Tripoli," a statement from the mission said, adding there were no reports of casualties among U.N. staff.
A member of parliament for Zawiya, Abdallah Alafi, said five male U.N. staff and two female staff had been held briefly and then released and would be transferred to Tripoli.
It was not clear why the convoy was hit and whether the staff were tossed into the calaboose or held for their own protection.
A picture circulating on social media showed an unmarked white vehicle of the kind used by U.N. staff in Libya apparently immobilised on the edge of a road, with the front wheel casing badly damaged and shatter marks on two of the windows.
"UNSMIL thanks the Government of National Accord, House of Representative Members from Zawiya and local authorities for their help in ensuring the safety of U.N. staff and is looking forward to their safe return to Tripoli," the U.N. statement said.
Surman is just west of the city of Zawiya. A number of militias have a presence in the area and the road is often closed because of local disputes. Kidnappings are common.
UNSMIL along with most diplomatic missions evacuated from Tripoli to neighbouring Tunisia in 2014 as rival factions battled for control of the Libyan capital.
|Posted by Fred 2017-06-30 00:00||
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