Refugees report thousands displaced in eastern Libya: UNHCR

22nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugee agency said on Tuesday that that thousands of Libyans had fled their homes in the east of the country, according to witnesses crossing the border into Egypt.

"UNHCR staff at Egypt's border with Libya have been hearing from new arrivals that thousands of Libyans are displaced in the east of the country, taking refuge in homes, schools and university halls," said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"Libyans at the Egyptian border told UNHCR that they feared reprisal attacks by pro-government supporters in eastern parts of the country," he added.

The displacement in the past week was reported in the cities of Tobruk, Derna, as well as Ajdabiya, which was the scene of heavy fighting earlier last week.

The UNHCR reported last Saturday that there had been a slight increase in the number of Libyan refugees fleeing into Egypt, with 1,000 arrivals in a day.

Benghazi, the main rebel city in eastern Libya, came under attack Saturday by forces loyal to strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

Aid agencies have been bracing for a refugee exodus into Libya if Kadhafi's forces push further into the rebel-held east.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article