June 14, 2011 / 3:27 PM / 8 years ago

Ship brings Misrata wounded to Libya rebel area-IOM

* Ninth ship chartered by IOM rescues migrants, wounded

* Brings total evacuated from Misrata to 7,500 since April

GENEVA, June 14 (Reuters) - A ship carrying 222 migrants and 30 wounded people from the Libyan city of Misrata arrived in Benghazi in the rebel-held east on Tuesday, an international aid agency said.

They were evacuated from Misrata on Monday following renewed shelling of the western insurgent stronghold, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement. Most of the migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa. “At one point during the evacuation when the ship was docked, artillery fire which landed just 400 metres from the pier forced the IOM-chartered ship to sail out to sea and await two remaining staff who had to be brought out to the ship on a tug-boat,” the statement said. Five of those evacuated had suffered severe head trauma injuries caused by shrapnel from artillery shelling.

“Among (the wounded evacuees) was a 12-year-old boy in a stable but critical condition after sustaining extensive head injuries from unexploded ordnance that can be found all around Misrata city after more than three months of siege,” the Geneva-based agency said.

It added that there was a steady number of critically ill migrants and wounded Libyans in Misrata and that there was a clear need for this lifeline to help bring them out of the city.

The IOM has now evacuated close to 7,500 people in nine such sea evacuations since mid-April, the statement said. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Stephanie Nebehay)

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