Migrants detained in Libya, caught in crossfire, seek aid

The migrants appealed for help as the detention center was running out of food and water. (File/AF)
Updated 01 July 2019

Migrants detained in Libya, caught in crossfire, seek aid

  • Some of the migrants in the facility have tuberculosis
  • They said the militants returned later to recruit them as fighters

CAIRO: Eritrean migrants say the facility where they are detained in western Libya was caught in the crossfire between rival militias.
The two migrants told The Associated Press on Monday that guards fled the Gharyan detention center, which houses nearly 30 migrants, including 10 suffering from tuberculosis. Militiamen stormed the center on Wednesday, holding one migrant at gunpoint and accusing him of supporting Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army. The migrants say the same militia returned in the following days to try to recruit them as fighters.
They appealed for help, saying their detention center is running out of food and water. The AP has documented the abuse of migrants at other facilities in Libya.
The migrants asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.


Iraq’s top cleric Al-Sistani discharged from hospital

Updated 3 sec ago

Iraq’s top cleric Al-Sistani discharged from hospital

  • Al-Sistani underwent surgery Thursday at the Kafeel hospital in Karbala and was sent home Friday, officials at the hospital said
  • The cleric has been critical in calming tensions in recent months as the country faced crisis after crisis

KARBALA: Iraq’s most powerful cleric was discharged Friday from a hospital following a risky surgery for a fractured bone and returned to his home in southern Iraq, medical officials said.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who turns 90 later this year, fractured a thigh bone when he slipped while bathing before evening prayers Wednesday night. The surgery was considered risky for his age and came amid ongoing tensions in Iraq following the US killing of a top Iranian general and a popular protest movement against the country’s ruling elite.
Al-Sistani’s opinion is often sought during troubled times and news that his surgery was successful prompted a flurry of well-wishes from senior officials.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “My prayers are extended along with the millions of Iraqis to whom he is a source of guidance and inspiration,” in a tweet early Friday.
Al-Sistani underwent surgery Thursday at the Kafeel hospital in Karbala and was sent home Friday, officials at the hospital said. He returned to his home in the holy city of Najaf. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
The cleric has been critical in calming tensions in recent months as the country faced crisis after crisis beginning with mass protests seeking to unseat the political establishment and the recent US drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.