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Italy treating Libyan police victims of IS bomb

12 January 2016, 23:00

Rome - Italy said Tuesday it was treating 15 Libyan police officers injured in a January 7 truck bombing that has been claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attack on a police training centre in Zliten, a coastal city about 170 kilometres (100 miles) east of Tripoli, killed 50 people and injured over a hundred.

Italy offered medical help for 15 of the most seriously injured in line with a request from Prime Minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj, the foreign ministry in Rome said.

The injured men were collected by an Italian airforce transporter on Monday and taken to Celio military hospital in central Rome.

Two of the men were immediately admitted to an intensive care unit.

Last week's bombing was the deadliest attack in Libya since the 2011 uprising in which rebels backed by the Western powers ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

It intensified growing concern over IS's presence in the oil-rich North African state and cast a shadow over international efforts to stabilise the conflict-torn country through the creation of a new, unified administration headed by businessman al-Sarraj.

Also Read: Italy boycott Ballon d'Or over Buffon absence

Libya has had rival administrations since August 2014, when an Islamist-backed militia overran Tripoli and forced the internationally recognised government to relocate to the east of the country.

Some members of both parliaments signed a December accord which envisages al-Sarraj forming a national unity government by the end of this month.

But many Libya experts are sceptical about the prospects of the new government becoming a stable administration after a majority of both assemblies snubbed the negotiations that led to its formation.

Italy has offered to lead an international peace process in the event of the rival factions in Libya ceasing hostilities.

As well as allowing IS to estabish a presence in the country, the chaos in Libya has been blamed for handing people smugglers a free hand to organise clandestine boat trips which have carried more than 320,000 migrants to Italy in the last two years.



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