By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 31 October 2017:
UNSMIL has joined in the widespread condemnation of yesterday’s airstrikes on Derna in which it is being reported, 12 women and children were among the 15 dead. Local medical sources said that all the dead and the 17 wounded appeared to be civilians.
The UN organisation today said it reiterated “that direct or indiscriminate attacks against civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law and reminds all parties of their obligations to protect civilians”.
The attacks were said to have been launched by five different warplanes over a period of around an hour. Residents told Reuters that the raid had focused on two districts, Dahr Al-Hamar and the hills in AlFatayeh which have been a cockpit of fighting, first between the now-ousted so-called Islamic State and the Derna Revolutionaries’ Shura Council (DRSC) and more recently between the DRSC and the Libyan National Army (LNA) which is currently besieging the port town.
There was no immediate acknowledgement of responsibility for the airstrikes though it was being claimed on social media that a broadcaster linked to the family of armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter said that the aircraft had been from the LNA supported by the Egyptian airforce.
Officially both Egypt and the LNA have denied any link to the operation amidst speculation that warplanes from other countries might have been involved.