Flights suspended at Libya airport

AFP
August 25,2019

TRIPOLI: Flights were temporarily suspended Saturday at the Libyan capital´s sole functioning airport after it was hit by a rocket as two civilian flights were landing, airport authorities...

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TRIPOLI: Flights were temporarily suspended Saturday at the Libyan capital´s sole functioning airport after it was hit by a rocket as two civilian flights were landing, airport authorities said.

“Flights are suspended until further notice due to rocket fire,” the Mitiga airport said on its Facebook page. After a pause of several hours flights resumed around midday, airport authorities announced in a later post. Located east of Tripoli, Mitiga is a former military airbase that has been used by civilian traffic since Tripoli international airport suffered severe damage during fighting in 2014. Authorities said a rocket hit just as two flights were landing — a Buraq Air flight from Istanbul and a Libyan Airlines flight inbound from Medina in Saudi Arabia carrying over 200 passengers, including pilgrims returning from Mecca. Mitiga has previously been targeted in fighting between the Tripoli-based UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar. Haftar´s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive on April 4 to conquer Tripoli. The two sides have since been embroiled in a stalemate on the capital´s southern outskirts and Haftar´s forces have allegedly repeatedly targeted Mitiga. The origin of Saturday´s rocket fire was not confirmed but the GNA forces blamed Haftar´s forces. The blast damaged a sidewalk outside the airport terminal and left cars parked nearby riddled with shrapnel, an AFP photographer at the scene said.


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