Friday, 21 January 2022

Tripoli’s only functional airport hit by air raid as clashes rage

REUTERS/Hani Amara/File

TRIPOLI: Forces under the command of Libya’s renegade General Khalifa Haftar are believed to have launched an air raid against the only functioning airport in Tripoli, as heavy fighting rages for control of the capital.

Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed said services at the Mitiga airport in eastern Tripoli were temporarily suspended after the attack on Monday.

“Passengers have been asked to evacuate the Mitiga airport after Haftar’s aircraft raided the runway,” he said, citing sources at the facility.

“In the area around the airport, civilians were terrified immediately after this air strike.” There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Haftar last week ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a parallel administration in the east, to march on Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) which is protected by an array of militias.

Despite repeated international calls for a truce, clashes have intensified, with dozens of people killed on both sides.

Since Thursday, clashes have broken out in a number of areas on the outskirts of Tripoli, including at the disused international airport on the city’s southern edge.

That airport has been abandoned since 2014, after suffering extensive damage during heavy fighting between rival armed groups.

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