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Another Filipino hurt as violence in Libya escalates – DFA

/ 09:24 AM April 24, 2019
Libyan civil war

A Libyan fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) mans a turret mounted on the back of a pickup truck during clashes with forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli’s suburb of Ain Zara, on April 10, 2019. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — With another Filipino reported injured amid the escalating clashes in Libya, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli reiterated its appeal to Filipinos there to avail of the government’s offer of repatriation.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Chargé d’ Affaires Elmer Cato said a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) augmentation team informed the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli that a Filipino worker was wounded “when a mortar round fell in their compound near the Tripoli International Airport and exploded.”

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“We were on our way back to the Embassy this afternoon after visiting our nurses at the Tripoli Central Hospital and the Al Khadra General Hospital when we received the call. It was Bari Macalawi, a member of the augmentation team from the Department of Foreign Affairs, relaying information he had just received,” he wrote.

“Bari said a Filipino working for an oil and gas service provider outside Tripoli was wounded when a mortar round fell in their compound near the Tripoli International Airport and exploded. Our kababayan is lucky he only sustained a shrapnel wound in his right foot. His Sudanese coworker was not—he was killed in the explosion,” he added.

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Cato noted that what happened to the said Filipino “underscores the danger that all of us face here in Tripoli as a result of the ongoing fighting just outside its gates.”

He said that this comes after another Filipino was injured in rocket attacks in the Libyan capital last week.

 

READ: Filipino man wounded in Tripoli rocket attack

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Cato also mentioned that just a few days ago, mortar rounds struck a hospital in Qasr bin Ghashir, a town in Tripoli, where several Filipino nurses were working.

READ: 15 Filipino nurses all safe after rockets hit hospital in Tripoli

“It also followed the close call of six other Filipinos who found themselves in the middle of intense clashes in Ain Zara,” he said, referring to a town in Western Libya.

“A few days ago, several Filipinos in another compound that was taken over by armed men also asked our help to convince their employers to move them to safer grounds,” he added.

With this, the embassy has pleaded Filipinos in the conflict-stricken African country to “seriously consider our offer to bring them home while we still can.”

READ: Most OFWs want to stay in Libya despite civil war

“Some of us may not be lucky the next time rockets or mortars rain in on Tripoli,” Cato said.

“So before the fighting intensifies further and before it gets closer to where many of our kababayan are in Tripoli, we plead to them and to their families in the Philippines to please seriously consider our offer to bring them home while we still can,” he added.  /muf

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TAGS: clashes, DFA, Libya, ofws, Tripoli
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