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article imageLibyan militia massacre refugees at camp

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 9, 2012 in World
Tripoli - A militia group from Misrata attacked a refugee camp, home to black Libyan refugees from the town of Tawergha. They massacred at least five people in what has been termed a racist assault.
Libyan militia men attacked a refugee camp in Janzour, a Tripoli suburb, that stands as a makeshift home to black Libyans, driven out of their town of Tawergha by Misratans. Gunmen arrived at the camp on Monday evening to arrest young men. Witnesses claim the gunmen opened fire on the refugees, killing at least five.
Camp resident Huda Bel-Eid, who was shot in the leg, told Aljazeera "We knew they were from Misrata because it was written all over their cars. Around 15 of them started shooting us. All the women escaped but the young men stayed. My brother was there and I went to help him because he was shot in the head and neck, then they shot me."Officials from Misrata military council deny any involvement, but Misratans have relentlessly pursued the former residents of Tawergha for months. They famously termed themselves the "Brigade for Purging Slaves, black skin" last year, when they vowed no Tawerghans would be allowed to return to their home town, previously home to 30,000 people. According to the New York Times "A Human Rights Watch researcher estimated there are 250 separate militias in the coastal city of Misurata", noting they are the most loathed militias in the country.
The National Transitional Council has proved powerless to prevent individual militias from a rampaging campaign of vengeance, torture and murder against the Tawerghans. According to RT many observers insist the violent attack was fuelled by racism. RT also cites a possibly higher number of deaths than Aljazerra, putting the figures at "between six and twelve people were killed, including children, women and the elderly."
Monday's massacre is approximately the sixth attack on the refugee camp at Janzour, home to 1,500 refugees. Young men who are not killed are taken away to prisons, without any official charges laid. Reports of torture and murder in Libyan prisons under the watch of the new regime are well documented.
Following the attack on the refugee camp, further violence ensued when a group from the camp protested against the shootings.
More about Massacre, tripoli refugee camp, Misrata military council, Tripoli, tawergha refugees
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