NEW YORK - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, has condemned, the “repeated indiscriminate” shelling targeting Mitiga airport.

As the only functioning airport available for millions of civilians, it is also used to deliver humanitarian assistance in the greater Tripoli area.

“These attacks have continued unabated since the start of the LNA [ Libyan National Army] offensive against Tripoli on 4 April despite United Nations’ calls for the protection of all civilian infrastructure and for precautions to protect the civilian population”, stated Mr. Salame.

Ahead of the upcoming the Hajj pilgrimage season, the attack also jeopardizes the ability or worshippers to travel from western Libya.

On Saturday, after projectiles hit the immediate vicinity of the taxiway used by commercial airliners, more than 250 pilgrims were forced to seek alternative arrangements.

The Special Representative reminded the conflict’s parties that “the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution must at all times be fully respected in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws”.

“Repeated strikes against Mitiga airport are one element of the increasing violence affecting the civilian population”, observed the UN envoy, who also worries about the broader impact on those directly affected by the fighting, including the thousands of civilians trapped in frontline areas and the hundreds of thousands of displaced.

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