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Libya's GNA accuse UAE of launching air strike on field hospital

The strike was reported at around 1 am, hours before a planned ceasefire [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 June, 2020

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A field hospital in a northern Libyan village was targeted in an airstrike blamed on the UAE.

Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) on Monday said a UAE plane supporting forces of rebel militia leader Khalifa Haftar targeted a field hospital in the south of Misrata.

The government-led Burkan Al-Ghadab ("Volcano of Rage") Operation, said on Facebook that "Emirati aviation supporting the war criminal rebel Haftar" targeted a field hospital in the Abu Grein village - 115 kilometres from the northwestern city.

The Saturday strike damaged the hospital and parked ambulances, the group said, although no injuries were reported.

Haftar's loyalist militants, the self-styled Libyan National Army, have been assaulting Libya's north - controlled by the UN-recognised government - for the past 14 months, in an attempt to seize the capital Tripoli.

The offensive is backed by Russia, the UAE and Egypt, while the GNA receives military support from Turkey.

The GNA reiterated previous claims made against Haftar, accusing his forces of deliberately striking hospitals and targeting medics.

In recent weeks, Haftar lost a series of battles, as the UN-recognised government kept up their counter-offensive after re-claiming the whole of Tripoli.

They announced the recapturing of all remaining outposts of western Libya from pro-Haftar loyalists last week.

After a series of heavy defeats, the UAE on Monday backed an Egyptian 'peace initiative' in Libya, which calls for a ceasefire as well as the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries deployed in Libya. 

Read also: UN mission in Libya: 17 attacks on health centres this year

A day earlier, Haftar was in Cairo to support the ceasefire proposed by one of its key backers.

The strike was reported at around 1am, just hours before the ceasefire went into effect.

According to an announcement made by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at a news conference, the ceasefire went into effect at 6am (4am GMT) Monday.

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