ICRC expresses grave concern over Libya

Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was "very concerned" about the effects violence in the Libyan city of Bani Walid had on civilians.

Last weekend, The New York Times reported that at least 22 people were killed in fighting between militias and rebel fighters near Bani Walid, a former stronghold of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Violence erupted on the first anniversary of his death, which came after he fell into rebel hands.

The ICRC announced it started work with the Libyan Red Crescent to deliver aid to thousands of Libyan civilians displaced by fighting in Bani Walid. An ICRC delegate said conditions there are very difficult.

"We are very concerned about the effects of the violence on the entire population still in Bani Walid, including of course the foreign nationals and the wounded," Ishfaq Muhammad Khan, who leads the ICRC delegation in Libya, said in a statement. "The situation is made all the more dangerous by the fact that the fighting is taking place in densely populated areas."

Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the formal collapse of the Gadhafi regime. British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said fighting in Bani Walid was a "clear reflection" of the challenges remaining in post-revolution Libya.

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