A migrant picks up her belongings from among rubble at a detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. Ismail Zitouny/Reuters
Outrage and calls for an independent probe mounted on Wednesday as 44 migrants were killed in an air strike on a detention centre in Libya that the UN said could constitute a war crime.
UN chief Antonio Guterres denounced the "horrendous" attack and demanded an independent investigation, as a divided Security Council failed to condemn the strike.
Libya's internationally recognised government and its arch-foe strongman Khalifa Haftar traded blame for the deadly assault, which the European Union called a "horrific" attack.
Bodies were strewn on the floor of a hangar in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura, mixed with the blood-soaked clothes of migrants, an AFP photographer said.
"There were bodies, blood and pieces of flesh everywhere," a survivor, 26-year-old Al-Mahdi Hafyan from Morocco, told AFP from his hospital bed where he was being treated for a leg wound.
"There were bodies, blood and pieces of flesh everywhere.
Hafyan said he had been detained in the centre for three months, after coming to Libya with a fellow Moroccan hoping to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
His friend survived the attack unscathed, but his T-shirt was stained with other people's blood. "We were lucky. We were at the back of the hanger."
Tuesday night's strike left a hole around three metres (10 feet) in diameter in the hangar, surrounded by debris ripped from the metal structure by the force of the blast.At least 44 people were killed and more than 130 severely wounded, the UN said.
The UN shared the coordinates of the Tajoura centre east of Tripoli with the warring sides to ensure that civilians sheltering there were safe, Guterres said.
UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame said the "attack clearly could constitute a war crime, as it killed by surprise innocent people whose dire conditions forced them to be in that shelter."
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s announcement that six European Union (EU) countries had agreed to take in some 150 migrants from a rescue ship that Italy had blocked from docking is a welcome development that has helped resolve the latest standoff over immigration to Europe across the Mediterranean.
The UN agency said another 83 people swam to shore, while survivors said at least 150 people including women and children were aboard the vessel, which had set sail from The Gambia on November 27.
Rackete was arrested on June 29 for entering Italy’s Lampedusa port despite a veto imposed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, and knocking a coast guard boat out of the way to land 40 migrants
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