The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has suspended operations in Misrata and Benghazi following a grenade and rocket attack . . .[restrict]on its Misrata base on Sunday morning. Seven members of staff were present at the time. although none was harmed. The attack, which took place at around 6.45 a.m., caused extensive damage to the building, according to a statement from the organisation.
As yet it is unknown who was responsible for the attack, but this is the fifth time in less than three months that the ICRC has been the target of violence in Libya. The organisation is increasingly concerned about what it sees as a trend of attacks against its and other humanitarian workers.
A home-made bomb exploded outside the Red Cross offices in Misrata in June. The previous month, the ICRC offices in Benghazi were damaged in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
“We are appalled by this latest act and by the deliberate targeting of our staff”, said Ishfaq Muhammed Khan, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Libya. “They have put their lives at risk to serve the Libyan people both during and after the conflict.”
Khan added that the decision to suspend operations had been made with great regret and that the ICRC’s staff in Misrata and Benghazi would be temporarily relocated.
The ICRC is a neutral aid organisation with no political or religious affiliation or agenda. It operates in 80 countries throughout the world.
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