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Children and women killed in airstrikes in Derna

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Derna

Unknown army aircrafts carried out air raids on the city of Derna, east of Libya, Monday evening, and killed 17 persons, most of them children and women.

The security officer in Derna, Yahiya Al-Usta Omar, clarified that the Egyptian warplanes bombarded the city for the fifth time. Omar confirmed that the airstrikes targeted two families gathered on a social occasion.

An eyewitness said that the air strikes continued for about one hour targeting Al-Dhahr district, south of Derna, and Al-Fatayeh area.

On the Egyptian side, a military source denied the news that accused Egypt of carrying out the airstrikes. Moreover, an Egyptian TV channel said that the air raid was carried out by Libyan warplanes. It is essential mentioning that Egypt had attacked Derna.

On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Dignity Operation, Ahmed Al-Mesmary, said that his forces didn’t attack Derna.

But media source affiliated with the Dignity Operation that led by General Khalifa Haftar said that Haftar’s forces had implemented several attacks on Derna.

Observers accused Haftar of involvement in the attack, either the Egyptians did that attack or his forces.

From his side, the head of the State Council, Abdul-Rahman Al-Swehli, considered the attack as a massacre. Al-Swehli condemned Haftar’s forces who control the area.

Al-Swehli called the Security Council to convene urgently to face the consecutive massacres in Libya, especially after the killings of Al-Abiar in Benghazi and the latest one in Derna.

The member of the State Council, Mansour Al-Hassadi, said that the attack is a criminal attack, pointing that Derna was attacked by the Egyptian airstrikes even before this time under the pretext of fighting terrorism. He added that also Haftar’s forces had attacked Derna and continued besieging it.

Al-Hassadi condemned the International Community for keeping silent towards these terrified actions. He also called the Presidential Council (PC) to protect the civilians in Derna even if they require international protection.

Egypt had carried out several air attacks on Derna under the justification of fighting the terrorism while the victims of every attack were civilians.

It is worth mentioning that Derna Shura Council forces defeated the terrorist group of Daesh in 2015. Then Daesh elements escaped from Derna, but Haftar’s forces let them go free to reach the city of Sirte where they have been defeated again in 2016 at the hands of the troops of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous. Derna Shura Council accused Egypt of shelling Derna.

Despite all of that, Haftar’s forces kept describing Derna Shura Council as terrorists. Haftar’s forces had imposed a severe blockage on Derna and let the inhabitants suffer from the lack of food, fuel, and the essential life needs.

From his side, the head of the PC of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, had declared national mourning for three days and ordered to investigate to reveal its circumstances.

The PC called Haftar’s forces to lift the siege on the city to let the aid reaches the residents of the city and transfer the wounded to the hospitals.