Bloomberg News

Libyans Wounded in Fighting Get U.S. Airlift to Hospitals Abroad

October 27, 2011

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. military will airlift 30 Libyans severely wounded in the country’s eight-month battle to oust Muammar Qaddafi so they can get treatment at hospitals in Germany and Boston.

Six patients in critical condition will be transported to Germany for immediate care, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement yesterday. Spaulding Hospital in Boston will take 24 seriously wounded fighters.

“All of these patients were injured as a result of recent fighting and suffer from conditions that cannot currently be treated in Libya,” Clinton and Panetta said.

The airlift, scheduled for tomorrow in response to a request from Libya’s National Transitional Council, helps fulfill a pledge Clinton made during her visit to Tripoli last week to provide medical care and education for veterans of the conflict. The United Nations estimates the number wounded in the fighting at some 15,000, including 1,500 amputees.

The UN Security Council voted earlier yesterday in New York to end its authorization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led military operation in Libya, after Qaddafi’s capture and death last week. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the transitional council, had appealed to the 15-member UN panel to allow the operation to continue for at least two more months.

During her visit to Tripoli last week, Clinton met several young men at the Tripoli Medical Center who had lost a limb or were at risk of losing one from battlefield injuries. A doctor implored Clinton to assist seriously wounded patients, including a medical student injured in fighting who needed specialized treatment in an overseas hospital.

--With assistance from Indira A.R. Lakshmanan in Washington and Flavia Krause-Jackson in United Nations. Editors: Jim Rubin, Don Frederick

To contact the reporter on this story: Viola Gienger in Washington at vgienger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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