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GNA accuses UAE of carrying out airstrike on migrant detention centre

ANI  |  Middle East 

United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has claimed that the recent airstrikes on a migrant detention centre in Libya in which at least 53 people died was carried out by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using a US-made F-16 fighter jet.

"We accuse the UAE of bombing the centre with an F-16 jet," Fathi Bashaagha, the Interior Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), told CNN. Bashaagha added that the Ministry has initiated an investigation into the matter.

Asked if the GNA had any proof for the accusation, Bashaagha said, "The sound of the jet was identified by technicians and pilots who heard it. The destructive power (of the bombs) is very big and is similar to the destructive power (of the bombs dropped) in 2014."

Libya is facing an unstable political and security situation. The country has been largely divided into two factions ever since the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The Khalifa Haftar-led Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the eastern part of Libya, while the UN-backed GNA governs Libya's western region from Tripoli.

Fighting broke out between the LNA and GNA after Haftar's forces launched an offensive in April to retake Tripoli.

In 2014, the Pentagon had said that it believed Egypt and the UAE had been conducting secret airstrikes in the North African nation. The claim had been denied by the two countries

The GNA had earlier blamed LNA for the airstrikes. Denying the accusation, the latter had said that it targetted a nearby militia's position but did not attack the hanger where the migrants were being held.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 06 2019. 01:33 IST