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Libyan soldiers fire at OFWs

Pinoy worker wounded when vehicle was shot during evacuation

MANILA, Mar 1 (Mabuhay) – A Filipino worker in Libya was injured as he and his co-workers were evacuating to a safer place, after the vehicle they were riding on was fired upon by Libyan soldiers who had thought they were part of anti-government forces.

The victim’s co-worker, Simeon Caspe, who said that the unidentified OFW sustained a gunshot wound on his hand.

Caspe said Libyan soldiers on Friday fired at the container van they were riding on as they were moving to a safer place amid the violence escalating in Libya.

At the time of the interview, Caspe disclosed he and other Filipinos were getting ready to evacuate to Istanbul, Turkey.

“Nagkaroon po ng pagtatalo ‘yung idriver namin at ‘yung mga checkpoint. During that time po, sabay po silang nagpaputok dun sa container namin na sinasakyan (There was an argument – our driver and [those manning] the checkpoint. During then they fired at the same time at the container van we were riding in),” Caspe recounted.
He added they were then taken to the soldiers’ headquarters, who had thought they were looters. Upon verifying that the OFWs were not part of those protesting against the Libyan government, they were released.
In a related development, migrants’ rights advocacy group Migrante International said that an OFW was reported killed during a firefight in Libya, but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has maintained that the Filipino worker’s death was due to an accident and not because of the violence in the country.
Migrante said the unidentified OFW was brought to Jalo Hospital on Feb. 21, where Filipino nurses there identified the victim as a fellow Filipino.
“Ang nangyari, Feb. 21, pinasok ang kanilang kampo ng armed men at tumakbo siya, nahulog sa rig. Hindi malaman kung siya ba’y natamaan ng bala. Basta nahulog siya doon at ‘yun ang ikinamatay niya (What happened, Feb. 21, armed men invaded their camp and the OFW fled but fell into a rig. It isn’t known if the OFW he got hit by bullets. He fell there and that’s how he died),” Migrante’s Connie Bragas-Regalado said in the same newscast. (MNS) ■

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