OIC terms violence in Libya as ''humanitarian catastrophe''

Written by: Pti
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Lalit K JhaWashington, Feb 24 (PTI) A 57-member grouping ofIslamic countries has described the ongoing "coercion andoppression" in Libya as a "humanitarian catastrophe" and askedTripoli to stop immediately the violence against innocentpeople that has resulted in hundreds of casualties.

In a statement condemning excessive use of forceagainst civilians by its member state Libya, the Organisationof the Islamic Conference termed the "ongoing coercion andoppression in Libya as a humanitarian catastrophe which goesagainst Islamic and human values."The statement, issued by group''s Permanent ObserverMission to the United Nations, expressed condolences to theLibyan people and to families of the victims, wishing speedyrecovery to the wounded.

The Libyan Interior Ministry has put the death toll inover a week of violence at 300, but Italian Foreign MinisterFranco Frattini has claimed that the crackdown has killed asmany as 1,000 people.

The OIC called on the Libyan authorities to stopimmediately violence against innocent Libyans, which hasresulted in hundreds of casualties.

It emphasized the need to address their claimspeacefully and through serious dialogue instead ofassassination and blood shedding, the statement said.

In the same vein, the General Secretariat of the OICemphasized that peoples have the right to express theirlegitimate claims in a peaceful and civilized way.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmentalorganization after the United Nations which has membership of57 states spread over four continents.

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