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Concern for conditions in Tripoli as horror of hospital in Abu Salim revealed

Conditions inside some parts of Tripoli are described as dreadful as concern grows for the humanitarian needs of people in the Libyan capital.

Libyans horrified by the scenes outside the hospital in the Abu Salim district in Tripoli.
Libyans horrified by the scenes outside the hospital in the Abu Salim district in Tripoli.
Image: Francois Mori/AP/Press Association Images

THERE ARE GROWING concerns for the humanitarian needs of people in the Libyan capital of Tripoli with the UN general secretary leading calls for urgent assistance from the international community.

Ban Ki-Moon has said that millions of people in and around the capital are at risk because of a water shortage and said the international community must rally to the needs of the Libyan people.

“We must come together with an effective, well-coordinated programme of international action,” he said in a statement.

Various reports emerging from the capital indicate that people are without water, electricity and proper sanitation.

In the Abu Salim district of the city, one of the last pro-Gaddafi strongholds, fighting has now subsided and the rebels appear to be in control.

However, horrific accounts are emerging from the district’s hospital, abandoned by staff who fled the heavy fighting in the past week.

The International Red Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) found the bodies of 200 rotting patients there with the remains of men, women and children, lying in corridors, on trolleys and piled up by the hospital entrance, according to BBC News.

Channel 4 news correspondent Alex Thomson went to a hospital in the Abu Salim district which he described as “now quiet but battered”.

He blogged on some of the shocking scenes he witnessed at the hospital there, scenes that were too graphic to include in this report last night.

Rebels now say the capital is free of forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi whose whereabouts are unknown.

Forces remain locked in a battle for control Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, 300 miles east of Tripoli which was last night targeted by NATO forces.

Amid rebel advances in recent days, it appears to be one of the last bastions under the embattled leader’s control.

- additional reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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