121 killed, nearly 600 wounded in Libya fighting: WHO

The fighting broke out on April 4. (AFP/File)
Updated 14 April 2019
0

121 killed, nearly 600 wounded in Libya fighting: WHO

  • WHO said they will send supplies and staff to Tripoli
  • The organization also disapproved of the attacks on medical staff and their vehicles

TRIPOLI: Fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people and wounded 561 since strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital, the World Health Organization said Sunday.

WHO’s Libya account said on Twitter the organization was sending medical supplies and more staff to Tripoli, and denounced “repeated attacks on health care workers, vehicles” during the fighting which erupted on April 4.

Haftar’s forces, which control swathes of the country’s east, have defied international calls to halt their battle against fighters loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli.

The United Nations’ office for humanitarian affairs said more than 13,500 people had been displaced by the clashes, while more than 900 residents are living in shelters.

“Three medical personnel have been killed and five ambulances have been incapacitated by shrapnel,” OCHA said in a Saturday statement.

As well as fighting on the ground, the two sides have launched daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

The north African country has been in turmoil since the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which has led to the creation of a bewildering array of militias all seeking to take control.

Haftar backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognize the UN-backed unity government led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.


Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

Egyptian Christians stand outside St. Markos Church in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt, in this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 36 min 58 sec ago
0

Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

  • Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students

CAIRO: The Egyptian Orthodox Church has issued a statement condemning the theft of the body of the Patriarch Gerges, son of priest Ibrahim Al-Basit, from his family’s burial place in the Minya governorate.
Last Saturday, the cemetery was opened and Al-Basit’s body was stolen. The crime of stealing the bodies of the dead has recently spread across Egypt, especially while the sanctity of the body remains preserved. It is also common for the remains to be collected two years after the burial.
Last October, a gang was arrested after stealing bodies from their graves. An investigation has revealed that the main defendant sold the bodies to medical students for practical learning.
Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students.
The investigation found that the defendant had put a price on various limbs. The leg and the arm were priced at 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($180), the skull cost 5,000 pounds and the whole body was worth 20,000 pounds.
Ashraf Farahat, a legal expert and lawyer, said that Egyptian law demands up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 100-500 pounds for criminals who violate the sanctity of graves.
Yasser Sayed Ahmed, a legal expert and lawyer, said he knew of many cases where cemetery guards and assistants help people access graves for superstitious reasons in exchange for large sums of money.
The majority of these cases are happening with the help of the guards of the tombs. They exhume graves at night to extract the bodies and separate the organs to sell bones and skulls. They often sell them to drug dealers by grinding and mixing some materials for sale at high prices.