Flight from western Libya builds: UNHCR

22nd April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugee agency said Friday that some 15,000 people had fled fighting in western Libya into Tunisia in the past two weeks and a much larger exodus was feared.

The mountainous region southwest of Tripoli contains a number of rebel-held towns which have come under attack from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"About 15,000 people left this region and crossed the border at Dehiba over the last two weeks," United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Andrew Harpers said.

"We are fearing this is a start of a much larger exodus," he said, adding that they were fleeing because of fighting and the problem of access to basic services including food.

Libyan rebels seized control of the border post at Dehiba early Thursday, sending some 100 Kadhafi soldiers fleeing into Tunisia.

© 2011 AFP

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