Jan. 5 (UPI) — The United Nations Support Mission in Libya on Sunday condemned the bombing of a military academy in the nation’s capital of Tripoli a day earlier.
At least 30 people died and 30 more were injured in the bombing on Saturday that took place as cadets were gathering on a parade ground at the Hadaba academy in a southern district of Tripoli.
“The forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army have been laying siege to Tripoli since April, under the leadership of commander Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with a rival administration in Tobruk, opposing the UN-backed Government of National Accord and allied forces, based in the capital,” UNSMIL said.
Forces allied with the GNA described the attack as an aerial attack launched by the LNA, but a militia spokesperson denied any involvement in the attack.
In a statement, UNSMIL warned that the escalation of military action “in this dangerous manner further complicates the situation in Libya and threatens opportunities to return to the political process.”
UNSMIL’s deputy chief, Yacoub El Hillo, said 12 health facilities had been forced to shut down and more than 210 schools are closed in areas of “active clashes” along the outskirts of the capital.
“Unimpeded, safe and unhindered access to civilians must be guaranteed, to allow concerned authorities, United Nations and humanitarian partners provide life-saving work,” El Hillo said. “I call on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and comply with the provisions spelled out in the Geneva Conventions — which must be fully respected and implemented in this conflict.”