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Italy confirms dispatch of 100 soldiers to protect Libyan hospital in Misrata

Italy confirms dispatch of 100 soldiers to protect Libyan hospital in Misrata

Italy

The Italian government has confirmed on Tuesday that 100 soldiers will be assigned to the protection of the military hospital near Libya’s airport in Misrata, as part of a humanitarian intervention requested by Tripoli.

“We plan to send about 300 people, of whom 65 are doctors and nurses, 135 are part of the logistical team and 100 are for the hospital’s protection,” the Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti said.

We plan to send about 300 people, of whom 65 are doctors and nurses, 135 are part of the logistical team and 100 are for the hospital's protection.

The minister wanted to correct media reports on Monday that said the contingent was made up of 100 doctors and nurses with 200 troops for the protection of the hospital.

Mrs. Pinotti and head of the Italian diplomacy Paolo Gentiloni made the statement at a joint session of the Defence and Foreign Affairs committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Mrs. Pinotti also stated that a military transport aircraft C-27 would be positioned at the airport if necessary and an Italian warship also would be placed off the coast of Misrata as additional support.

The Libyan Government of National Unity (GNA) requested the support of the Italian government on August 8 prompting the “immediate instalment” of the team.

The military hospital will have a capacity of 50 beds to handle all cases including the most serious injuries which are likely to be transported to hospitals on Italian territory.

Mr. Gentiloni criticized Libya’s rival authorities led by General Khalifa Haftar which on Monday took control of a third oil terminal.

He called the offensive “destabilizing” for the whole country while announcing Italy’s commitment to help stabilize Libya as well as dispatching a new Italian ambassador to Tripoli.