The World Health Organization (WHO) has reacted to the recent armed attack on Al Jala Hospital in Libya’s second-largest city of Benghazi, which took place on Tuesday.
The global health body advised that if attacks of such are not cautioned in time, it could shutter major hospitals in the country.
While nobody was reportedly killed, WHO said that there had been panic among patients and health workers inside the hospital, and damage to infrastructure.
Unidentified armed assailants reportedly entered the building and stormed into the intensive care section, damaging some equipment in an exchange of gunfire, before they left without causing any injuries.
The trauma hospital is already struggling with resources and suffering from a lack of medical supplies, WHO said.
The attack marked the latest incident in a wave of attacks by armed groups in the country’s eastern pocket in recent months, prompting the volatile city to remain on a state of high alert, it added.
WHO warned “repeated attacks will lead to closure of this important hospital, add to the suffering of Libyan people, and further deprive the already limited access they have to medical care”.
The UN global health agency therefore urged all parties to observe international humanitarian law and respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and the facilities in which they operate.
Such tragedies should be avoided “by taking all necessary precautionary measures and perpetrators must be brought to justice,” WHO declared.
According to latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, Benghazi hosts the largest number of internally displaced people of anywhere in the country, with 26,800 living in and around the city.