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Libya: ICRC calls for medical personnel to be respected

03-03-2011 News Release

Geneva/Benghazi (ICRC) – Credible reports indicate that two Libyan Red Crescent ambulances were shot at today (3 March) in Misrata, west of Benghazi, resulting in two volunteers being injured and one of the ambulances being completely burnt.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls on all those taking part in the violence to comply with their obligation to respect and protect in all circumstances medical personnel, medical facilities and any vehicle used as an ambulance. Health personnel, in particular Libyan Red Crescent volunteers, must be able to provide aid unhindered and in safety.

"Red Crescent and Red Cross staff must be respected and allowed to carry out their life-saving work in safety," said Simon Brooks, head of the ICRC team in Benghazi. "This is a vital issue for us and our colleagues at the Libyan Red Crescent. Volunteers are always ready to do their job but they must be granted the necessary security."

The ICRC currently has 12 staff in Benghazi, including a medical team that is visiting areas outside the city in cooperation with the Libyan Red Crescent.

For further information, please contact:
Hicham Hassan (English, Arabic, French), ICRC Benghazi, tel: +20 1 87 42 43 44
Mohamed Ben Ahmed (French, Arabic), ICRC Tunis, tel: +216 98 432 393
Biljana Milosevic (English), ICRC Tunis, tel: +216 20 33 62 38
Mohammad Sultan (English, Arabic), ICRC Cairo, tel: +20 1 05 05 33 10
Anna Nelson (English, French), ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 20 63  or  +41 79 217 3264

See also the photo gallery illustrating the ICRC's response to the crisis in Libya