Interim Government refutes HRW’s claims about Derna clashes

Department of Foreign Media and International Cooperation of the Libyan Interim Government, on Saturday, issued a statement in response to the Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) report on the humanitarian situation in Derna.

The statement said the residents of the Old City left and terrorists only are hiding in the neighborhood from the strikes of the armed forces, adding that the remaining civilians there were fighting the army.

The media department confirmed that the battle to liberate Derna was against dangerous extremists, such as Egyptian militant Hisham Ashmawi.

HRW has called on the Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar, to allow aid and medical workers into the Old City neighborhood of Derna.

HRW claimed in its Friday report that it had cited credible reports of civilians being “trapped in Derna within the past two weeks without access to food, water, or medical care.”

LNA has been fighting a local armed group “Derna Protection Force” since May 2018 in the coastal city of more than 100,000 residents.

According to the report, LNA forces have detained Derna residents at their homes, and at checkpoints and other public places.

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