500,000 children face ‘immediate danger’ in Libya capital: UN

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TRIPOLI: Half a million children are in “immediate danger” in Libya’s capital Tripoli due to fighting, the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF said yesterday. Clashes that broke out between rival militias in late August had killed at least 115 people and wounded nearly 400 by Saturday night, according to Libya’s health ministry.

UNICEF said Monday that “over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli”.

That brings the total number of people displaced by the recent fighting to over 25,000, half of whom are children, UNICEF said. “More children are reportedly being recruited to fight, putting them in immediate danger. At least one child was killed as a result,” said Geert Cappelaere, the UN agency’s Middle East and North Africa director.

UNICEF also said schools are increasingly being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the academic year beyond October 3.

It said residents are facing food, power and water shortages, adding that the clashes have exacerbated the plight of migrants.

“Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centres in dire conditions”, Cappelaere said. —Agencies

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