News / Africa

Tripoli Blasts Signal Apparent NATO Airstrikes

In this photo taken on a government organized tour, ruins of an official building are seen following an air strike in Tripoli, Libya, early Tuesday, May 10, 2011.
In this photo taken on a government organized tour, ruins of an official building are seen following an air strike in Tripoli, Libya, early Tuesday, May 10, 2011.

At least five loud blasts from apparent NATO airstrikes were heard in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, early Tuesday.

The unusually heavy bombardment followed separate NATO air attacks Monday against government weapons depots near the western town of Zintan.

In the besieged port city of Misrata, rebel fighters said they have pushed back government troops from positions ringing the town. A ship chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross arrived in Misrata Monday, bringing 8,000 jars of baby food as well as urgently needed surgical instruments and medical dressings.

Earlier, the United Nations said a ship carrying 600 refugees from Libya sank off the country's coast Friday, with an unknown death toll.

Salah Kurdi, a legal adviser with the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, told VOA the boat was heading to Italy from the Libyan capital when it hit rocks and capsized.  He said the Italian coast guard rescued many passengers, but that he had no details about casualties.

Kurdi also disclosed an earlier incident in which a smaller boat fleeing Libya ran into trouble soon after leaving Tripoli. The vessel floated helplessly on the open sea for 16 days and by the time it drifted ashore - back in Libya - most of the 72 people on board were dead or dying of hunger and thirst.

Those who survived the ill-fated voyage - all African nationals who had migrated to or were working in Libya - said NATO military units saw their plight but failed to provide any help. NATO denied the refugees' claim, but the British newspaper The Guardian  investigated and reported that NATO units apparently ignored the Africans' pleas.

The Guardian reported that the ship carried 47 Ethiopians, seven Nigerians, seven Eritreans, six Ghanaians and five Sudanese. All but 11 were dead when the ship landed back in Libya last month, and two of those who survived the ordeal at sea died later in hospitals.  

Passengers on the ship told reporters they drifted close to an aircraft carrier and were certain they had been spotted, but no help ever arrived. A military helicopter flew low over the refugees' ship on another occasion, but again no assistance was given.

U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos said more than 746,000 people have fled Libya since the fighting began in February, and about 5,000 remain stranded at border points in Egypt, Tunisia and Niger.

Amos told the U.N. Security Council Monday that the way international sanctions are implemented in Libya is delaying the delivery of supplies to the country's embattled population. She said one problem is Libya's centralized distribution system.

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator also asked all parties in the fighting to agree to a temporary pause in hostilities to enable the delivery of food, water, medical supplies and other aid to needy populations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid