By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 24 June 2o14:
Part of the reception area at Benghazi’s Jalaa Hospital was seriously damaged yesterday afternoon, when a grenade was thrown at it.
The hospital says that it does not believe this was a terrorist act but rather a criminal action by an individual.
Hospitals and hospital staff across Libya have been subject to regular violent attacks from members of the public, usually over the hospital’s inability to provide treatment or the death of a relative or friend while being treated. Two days ago, Sabratha municipal council issued a condemnation of attacks on staff at the teaching hospital there.
While the Jalaa hospital incident may not have been a terrorist act, the same was not the case for Benghazi Medical Centre. Yet another missile landed just outside the building yesterday, shattering windows but otherwise causing no serious damage. The hospital is regularly attacked by militants. On Wednesday night, a missile yet again hit the car park, destroying at least one vehicle.
Despite the attacks, the BMC continues to operate although, according to its director, Mohamed Zwai, it is stretched to breaking point. The number of wounded arriving at the hospital as a result of the fighting in the city in the past few days is way beyond what was expected and beyond its capacity. All the beds were full, he explained in a TV interview yesterday, and called on hospitals in nearby towns to help out.