Tripoli, Libya, 8 April 2019 — The World Health Organization strongly condemns the killing of 2 doctors who had been providing critically needed services to civilians in Tripoli.

“It is unacceptable for health workers to be targeted during armed conflict,” emphasized Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “Parties in such conflict must respect international humanitarian law and ensure that health workers and facilities are safe. These doctors risked their lives to evacuate wounded patients from conflict areas, and targeting them and health facilities at such times worsens the situation for civilians caught up in conflict.”

WHO has documented more than 46 attacks on health workers and facilities throughout 2018–2019 across Libya. These attacks killed 8 health workers and patients and injured 24. As Libya’s years-old conflict has dragged on, hundreds of primary health care centres and more than 20 hospitals have been damaged or closed.

“Such attacks on health facilities deprive thousands of people with essential health care,” added Dr Al-Mandhari. “We call on all parties to respect international commitments and ensure that health workers are able to perform their life-saving work.”