10 killed in clashes at Libya's main worldwide airport

Cheryl Sanders
January 15, 2018

At least nine people were killed and almost 30 were injured in armed clashes at Mitiga International Airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli, Reuters reported, citing the Libyan health ministry.

According to local resource Libya's Channel, the skirmish, starting Monday morning between two groups of militants armed with a variety of light and heavy weaponry including mortars, has led to the suspension of all domestic and worldwide flights into and out of the airport, with flights diverted to nearby Misrata Airport, about 175 km to the east of Tripoli.

According to local media, at least 3 people, including one civilian, have been killed and six others wounded in the clashes.

Libya's capital has seen fighting that has ledt at least nine dead, after militia fighters attacked Tripoli International Airport on Monday.

Unidentified gunmen launched the attack in a bid "to free" some of their colleagues detained there, it said.

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 UN-backed government issued a statement condemning the attack, "which threatened the lives of travellers, nearby residents and the safety of air traffic".

"We saw tanks in the airport's perimeter", he added.

Security forces reporting to the interior ministry said both civilians and military areas of the airport were under control and undamaged, and that "a group of outlaw attackers has been apprehended".

The head of the Civil Aviation Authority Nasr-Addin Shayeb al-Ain said the airport has been temporarily closed for security reasons.

Al-Radaa is loyal to the GNA and also serves as a police force in Tripoli, as well as tracking suspected jihadists and drug and alcohol smugglers.

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