Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

There are Fights at the Airport of Libyan Capital Tripoli

There are Fights at the Airport of Libyan Capital Tripoli

The Libyan Health Ministry of the Tripoli-based government reported Monday evening that 20 people were killed and 60 others injured in the fierce fighting that erupted this morning around Mitiga Airport in Tripoli.

Libyan rebel fighters flash the victory sign as they drive on 11 June 2011 in Ajdabiya.

Local media reported that almost 30 people had been wounded in the fighting, which caused Mitiga to suspend all flights until further notice.

"The closure of the airport was because of the ongoing clashes".

The fighting erupted when an as yet unidentified militia attacked the facility in a bid to free colleagues detained at a jail there, a force loyal to the unity government said earlier.

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A Reuters reporter saw one Airbus A319 operated by Afriqiyah Airways sitting in a hangar at Mitiga with a hole in its roof from artillery fire.

Rada said its forces were attacked by a group or individual named "Bashir the Cow" at Mitiga airport, although there is no confirmation about the identity of the assailant.

The force posted images of tanks deployed around the airport and confirmed that the situation was now under full control. An armed group launched an attack in the airport area, where there are more than 2,500 prisoners serving sentences for various crimes, said the special anti-terrorist forces "Rada", which are responsible for airport security, on their facebook page. Schools in the fighting zone were closed and government employees were told to evacuate.

The Tripoli factions sometimes clash in turf battles or over killings or detentions of their members.

The United Nations is trying to pave the way for elections in Libya by the end of the year, which it hopes can help stabilize the oil-producing nation.

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