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Africans fleeing Libya 'threatened with death'

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Africans fleeing Libya 'threatened with death'

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African refugees fleeing from Libya say they have been threatened with death, as Libyan rebels believe they are mercenaries working for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The UN refugee agency has expressed alarm at reports of armed Libyans attacking and, in some cases, even lynching sub-Saharan Africans.

Antonio Guterres, the agency’s commissioner, said authorities are “working together” and “need to be prepared” to welcome more people crossing into Tunisia.

Many of them, like Mohammed from Somalia, originally fled war and poverty in their own homelands. “All the Libyans are saying the Somalis are mercenaries. It’s killing me,” he said.

The International Organisation for Migration said some 115,000 people have fled to Tunisia since the unrest began last month.