Civilians killed in air strike on Libyan city of Derna

At least 17 people killed and more than 30 wounded in an aerial bombing on besieged eastern Libyan city.

    It is not clear which country or group was behind the deadly attack [Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images]
    It is not clear which country or group was behind the deadly attack [Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images]

    At least 17 people have been killed and more than 30 wounded in an air strike in Libya's eastern city of Derna, a medical official has told Anadolu news agency.

    An official at Al-Huraish State Hospital in Derna, who declined to be named, said on Monday that a "state of emergency" was declared at the medical facility and a call for blood donations was made as the dead and wounded were rushed to the hospital.

    It is not clear which country or group was behind the deadly attack.

    The US has carried out at least four known air strikes in Libya since 2015. The UK and France have also Special Forces operating under a cloud of secrecy in the country.

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    In July last year, three French soldiers were killed when their military helicopter was shot down by an armed group called Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB).

    Since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 following an armed uprising assisted by the Western military intervention, Libya remains bitterly divided, with two rival governments struggling to wield influence in the large country.

    Besieged for over a year

    Dozens of armed groups are engaged in a war that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of civilian population.

    Derna has been besieged for over a year by armed groups loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, the self-styled chief of Libyan National Army (LNA).

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    The Mujahideen Shura Council, which is currently in de facto control of Derna, took the city from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in 2015. It is the only city in eastern Libya not controlled by forces of General Haftar.

    Haftar, backed by Egypt, France and the government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, is an important and divisive player in Libyan politics.

    LNA opposes the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli, which controls much of the western part of the country, including Misrata.

    A 2015 UN-backed peace deal has failed to unite warring factions.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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