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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 20, 2020

36 Gambians reported dead in Libya

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Nationals of other West African countries are said to have been killed in Friday’s blast as Libya descends into a state of lawlessness.

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A series of Muslim funerary rites have been observed all over the country for the victims in The Gambia as news percolate through to their families. Speaking to The Standard in a telephone interview at the weekend, Ebrima Njie, a Gambian in Tripoli said: “I understand that 53 Gambians and Senegalese were killed yesterday.  Some of the boys that ventured outside have seen dead bodies lying on the streets of Tripoli. I swear by Allah! We have not been able to identify some of those Gambians because we cannot even go out on the streets. It is too dangerous here.”

Another Gambian, Musa Ceesay, who has been in Libya for six months said the situation has deteriorated “significantly” recently but said returning to The Gambia is not an option for him. 

He added: “The Gambians who died were not specifically targeted; their house was hit as rebels fight for the control of Tripoli. Libya has become a lawless place where security of life is not guaranteed but we cannot go back like citizens of richer states like the UK, China and Egyt. Our only option is to press ahead for entry into Italy. To try to go back to The Gambia will be very dangerous and waste of money traveling all the way there. I have already paid for a boat passage so I will have to sit down with my agent to tell him that I want to move or demand my money back if he stalls.

“These Libyans have money and have been able to acquire dangerous weapons. We are a bit far from the area where the battle is most intense but the sound of certain guns jolt you from sleep at night. We are fervently praying that the situation calms down. We are locked in the house fearing the worst. The world is a hard place my brother. It is too harsh a living.”

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