Africa

Libya: Aviation suspended at Tripoli airport

Until further notice, Mitiga International Airport is closed due to random shelling

Walid Abdullah   | 15.08.2019
Libya: Aviation suspended at Tripoli airport

TRIPOLI, Libya 

Flights were suspended Thursday at Libya’s Mitiga International Airport in capital Tripoli after it was hit by random shelling.

A flight of the Afriqiyah Airways was forced to land at the Misrata Airport due to the attack, said a statement issued by the airport.

The airport did not disclose details over any casualties or damage; however one person was reportedly killed and another injured, said a local Ahrar T.V. channel.

The airport is closed until further notice, it added.

On Sunday, aviation was suspended at Mitiga International Airport after Khalifa Haftar-affiliated forces violated the truce reached on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, Muslim religious holiday, for the second time.

All flights were suspended until further notice as the airport came under rocket attacks, said the Facebook page of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA)-led Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation.

The first violation of the cease-fire by the Haftar forces came when they targeted a neighborhood near the airport with random rocket and artillery fires.

On July 29, Ghassan Salame, special representative of the secretary-general of the UN, offered a truce between the parties in Libya on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha.

Turkey and the EU also welcomed the call and voiced support for Salame’s proposal.

Early April, forces loyal to Haftar launched a campaign to capture Tripoli from forces aligned with the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 people dead and about 5,500 wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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