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Libya: 1 Gambian Missing, 1 Hospitalised After Deadly Airstrike on Migrant Center

One Gambian national has been missing and another one hospitalised in Libya after a migrant detention center in Tripoli was hit by a deadly air strike last week.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad Thursday confirmed to The Chronicle that Lamin Cham from Banjul is missing, while Ebrima Touray from Badibu Bambali has been hospitalised after sustaining serious wounds from the air strike which killed 53 people and injured 130, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.

According to a Reuters report, “the strike occurred as eastern forces under warlord Khalifa Haftar keep up a ground and aerial offensive to wrest control of Tripoli from the U.N.-backed government.” It is estimated that 350 people were being held at the camp at the time of the airstrike. The UN said the attack could constitute a war crime. New York Times said the migrants were being held less than 100 yards from a weapons depot that had been struck two months ago.

Gambians and other migrants battling for survival in the Mediterranean ©Jason Florio. All rights reserved

Though it’s not clear how many Gambians are currently holed up in Libya in their quest to reach Europe through the Mediterranean, thousands of Gambians have made the perilous journey to the restive North African country through third party countries such as Mali and Niger to get to Europe for mainly greener pastures. Many of the migrants have narrated their ordeals in Libya.

“Ohhh it was very difficult. I can never even encourage my enemy to go to Libya. Every moment I spent in Libya was hell,” said Yaya Yaffa, a Gambian migrant who spent months in Libya before crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. He is now based in Germany.

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