The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Federico Soda, said at least five migrants were shot dead at a detention centre in Tripoli on Friday, where many migrants were reported to have escaped and others gathered in nearby streets.
UNHCR reports Libyan authorities have detained around 5,000 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in a crackdown over the past week, housing them in crowded, unsanitary detention facilities.
Soda said the overcrowding at Ghot Shaal detention centre had led to chaos there, with people sleeping in the open and different security forces present.
“Shooting started,” he said, adding that at least five people were killed.
Unverified videos posted on social media showed dozens of people pouring through a gap in a fence and marching through Tripoli streets.
In a video, the migrants were also seen sitting on the floor surrounded by guards, and sporadic shots could be heard.
On Friday, the United Nations refugee agency expressed concern about the situation of migrants and refugees in Libya after more than 5,000 people had been arrested during the recent crackdown.
“The raids, which also involved the demolition of many unfinished buildings and makeshift houses, have created widespread panic and fear among asylum seekers and refugees in the capital,” it said in a statement.
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