Libya health ministry: Airstrike in Tripoli kills 4 children

Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, August 28, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 02 December 2019

Libya health ministry: Airstrike in Tripoli kills 4 children

  • The Health Ministry says the airstrike took place on Sunday in the Al-Sawani neighborhood
  • Tripoli has been the scene of fighting since April

CAIRO: Libyan health authorities say an airstrike has hit a civilian area in a southern Tripoli neighborhood, killing at least four children.
The Libyan capital has been the scene of fighting since April between the self-styled Libyan National Army and an array of militias allied with the UN-supported but weak government which holds Tripoli.
The Tripoli-based health ministry says the airstrike took place on Sunday in the Al-Sawani neighborhood, about 30 kilometers, or 18 miles, from the city center.
The ministry’s spokesman Malek Merset says the strike wounded a fifth child. The interior ministry blamed the Libyan National Army for the airstrike.
Fighting has stalled in recent weeks, with both sides dug in and shelling one another along Tripoli’s southern reaches. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in the fighting.


Iranian chess referee seeking asylum reveals second reason she can’t go home

Updated 59 min 29 sec ago

Iranian chess referee seeking asylum reveals second reason she can’t go home

  • Women are required to wear the hijab in public in Iran, and those who refuse can face prison
  • Bayat was declared a public enemy by Iranian hard-liners after photos of her emerged from a match with her headscarf around her neck

LONDON: The Iranian chess referee forced to seek asylum in the UK after letting her hijab slip during a match in Shanghai this year has revealed another reason she may never be able to return to her country — her secret Jewish heritage.
Shohreh Bayat told The Daily Telegraph that she had to conceal her family background in her native Iran.
“If they knew I had Jewish background, I would never be general secretary of the Iranian chess federation,” Bayat told the British newspaper.
The leading referee said she had heard anti-Jewish remarks made by chess officials in Iran.
Bayat was declared a public enemy by Iranian hard-liners and received death threats after photos of her emerged from the Women’s World Chess Championship in January with her red headscarf around her neck rather than covering her head.
“All my life was about showing a fake image of myself to society because they wanted me to be an image of a religious Muslim woman, which I wasn’t,” Bayat said, speaking about the Iranian regime.
The 33-year-old said she is not a fan of the hijab, but felt she had to comply — even if that meant covering only a tiny amount of hair.
Women are required to wear the hijab in public in Iran, and those who refuse can face prison.
After being photographed at the world championship match with her hijab around her neck, Bayat said she was warned by family and friends not to return home.
“My mobile was full of messages saying: ‘Please, don’t come back, they will arrest you’,” she told the newspaper.
“I woke up the following day and saw that the (Iranian) federation removed my picture — it was like I didn’t exist,” she said.
Despite death threats, Bayat continued refereeing the second leg of the tournament in Vladivostok, ignoring calls from Iranian officials for a public apology.
At the end of January, she changed her return ticket and traveled to the UK —  the only Western country where she held a valid visa — and applied for asylum. She is waiting for her application to be processed.

Bayat's paternal grandmother was Jewish and moved to Iran from Azeraijan’s capital Baku during the Second World War. 
Last week, Bayat celebrated the Jewish New Year for the first time in her life.
“It was amazing. It was a thing I never had a chance to do,” she said.