Violence thwarts aid efforts in Libya

April 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, April 3 (UPI) -- Humanitarian relief operations are complicated by fighting in Libya, an International Committee of the Red Cross volunteer said.

Libya has struggled with national security issues since the civil war in 2011. Internal rivalries have complicated a tense security situation exacerbated by militancy in and around the desert borders with its neighbors.

A terrorist attack on a natural gas complex in Algeria this year was said to have originated in Libya.

The United Nations reports that around 1,500 families were displaced last month by fighting in the Nafusa Mountains along the Algerian border.

Asma Awan Khalik, a volunteer with the ICRC, told the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN that relief operations were complicated by the security situation.

"The distribution of aid is a delicate operation," he said. "It is not easy to reach all the people in need."

IRIN reports that a special Libyan military unit was deployed to the area, about 100 miles south of Tripoli, but residents described the security situation as precarious.

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