Red Cross staffers attacked in Libya, one killed
Libyan forces are struggling to eradicate extremist militia groups that are responsible for many violent attacks across the country. (AFP/File)
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has strongly condemned the killing of one of its employees in Libya.
The head of the ICRC’s operation in Misrata, Michael Greub, was shot by unidentified armed men near Libya’s eastern city of Sirte on Wednesday at around 10:00 GMT. The 42-year-old Swiss national was reportedly shot while leaving a meeting he had attended with two colleagues, who escaped the incident unharmed. Greub later died at a nearby hospital.
ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord called the incident a “heinous attack,” saying it has both devastated and outraged the organization.
The aid worker had previously worked in Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and Gaza.
No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting, and the identity of the attackers has not been determined yet. However, Sirte is known to be the stronghold of extremist groups such as Ansar al-Sharia.
Greub’s death came a day after the Red Cross and Libyan Red Crescent raised concerns over the humanitarian consequences of armed violence in Libya, specifically in the eastern city of Benghazi.
The ICRC has had a permanent presence in Libya since 2011, providing humanitarian services to detainees, tracing missing people and cooperating with Libya’s Red Crescent organization in their work.
Red Cross offices in Benghazi and Misrata were attacked in 2012 but the incidents left no casualties.
Nearly three years after the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups. The former rebels refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.
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