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Death toll in Libya last year was 433

Image of destroyed buildings and vehicles as the violence continues in Libya [file photo]
Destroyed buildings and vehicles can be seen due to the ongoing violence in Libya [file photo]

At least 433 people were killed in Libya in 2017, according to the latest report from the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL). The total included 79 children and 10 women.

Just under half of the killings were due to the lawlessness of vigilante groups fighting against each other as well as casualties of landmines and explosive devices. The report named incidents in southern Libya, the roadside massacre of Al-Abyar near Benghazi, Ganfouda and Al-Brega incidents in eastern Libya, and Al-Hira, Tarhouna and Wershiffana in western Libya.

“Around 175 civilians were killed due to explosives and landmines in Derna, Benghazi and Sirte,” said the Commission, “while 75 civilians were killed in random clashes as well as violence in residential areas inside Tripoli, Sabha, Benghazi, Al-Zawiya, Sabratha, Garabulli and Al-Khums.”

The report added that 143 people were victims of forced disappearance and arbitrary arrests, while 186 others were kidnapped in towns and cities like Tripoli, Sirte, Tarhouna and Al-Zawiya.

Read: Foreign intervention in Libya ‘frustrating progress’

In 34 recorded attacks, torture, arbitrary and illegal arrests were evident, as well as threats against journalists and human rights activists. Fifteen health centres were also attacked during 2017 in Sabha, Benghazi, Al-Zawiya, Tripoli and Derna, with medics and patients targeted, leaving Libya’s already fragile healthcare system jeopardised yet further.

People in Libya are still living through dire conditions with the majority — about a third of the population — harmed and badly affected by the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions, thus causing them to be in dire need of better food and health care.

A staggering 3.5 million Libyans require immediate humanitarian assistance; many of them are internally displaced persons (IDPs). “The whole issue is related to the persistence of the political crisis in Libya,” explained the NCHRL.

The main contributing factor to the poor living conditions and deteriorating security situation in the country since the uprising in 2011 is the lawlessness, the collapse of state and civil institutions, and the devaluation of the Libyan dinar coupled with increasing prices as currency in the banks continues to dry up.

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