Nepali among 44 killed in Libya detention center aerial attack

Published On: July 5, 2019 06:59 AM NPT By: KISAN SANGEET NEPALI

LAMJUNG, July 5: A Nepali national was among those killed in an aerial strike carried out by a rebel group on a detention center for migrants in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Tuesday night, according to the Nepali Embassy in Egypt, which is currently accredited to Libya.

According to the embassy, Santosh Shrestha, 27, of Beshi Shahar Municipality-8 in Lamjung district was among the 44 people in the Tajoura Detention Center administered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the east of Tripoli in the Tuesday night’s bombing. 

The IOM, Libya informed Embassy of Nepal in Egypt on Wednesday about the demise of Shrestha in the attack on the center. He was declared dead while undergoing treatment at a hospital, according to IOM, Libya. 

The Tripoli-based government blamed the attack on forces associated with General Khalifa Hifter, whose Libyan National Army has been waging an offensive against rival militias in the capital of the war-torn North African country since April, according to international media reports.

It was only on Monday, the IOM had asked the Embassy for his travel documents and that the Embassy had sent his travel document to IOM, Egypt to be sent to IOM, Libya as the courier services take long time to dispatch the documents to war-torn Libya, according to Charge De’ Affaires at the Embassy, Suzan Bidari.

Upon hearing the news Thursday, Shrestha’s family members and kin have been engulfed in grief. He had left Nepal in January after a youth from Dordi Rural Municipality assured him to find a lucrative job in Libya. He was planning to go to Italy in a few days after the security situation made him to think of leaving Libya.

According to Shrestha’s family members, it has been difficult to convince his mother and her condition is beyond control since she came to learn about the death of her son. “I had suggested to him to do whatever job is available in Nepal. I had even suggested to him to start a business even if he wanted to do that,” a heartbroken father Som Prasad told Republica over the phone. 

Deceased Shrestha had returned home after working for four years in Malaysia. “He insisted going abroad. I then took loan and sent him abroad,” Som Prasad said, adding that he had taken Rs 1.4 million loan to send his son abroad. 

The family had sent additional amount as deceased Shrestha told his family that it was unsafe to stay in Libya and that he intended to go to Italy only a few days ago. As the family members do not know how to bring back the dead body, Shrestha’s uncle Ganesh Prasad has urged the government to help repatriate the body home and help alleviate the pain and suffering the family is currently undergoing. 

The Nepali Embassy in Egypt has expressed serious concern over the growing tendency of Nepali youths to go to troubled nations like Libya, lured by the false promises of unscrupulous manpower agents to find lucrative jobs. The Embassy on Wednesday rescued eight other Nepali nationals from Libya and sent them to Nepal via Turkey. “There are other six Nepalis at the IOM camp in Tripoli.

We are trying to send them to Nepal at the earliest,” the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy earlier had rescued 26 other Nepali nationals. Most of the rescued Nepalis were brought to Libya by the human traffickers to be sent to Italy from Libya. The Nepali peacekeeping Mission in Libya is cooperating and coordinating on all these matters. 

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