Tripoli’s only functioning airport bombed

An unidentified aircraft bombed a runway at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport • UN says that fighting around the capital has claimed the lives of more than 25 people and caused thousands to flee from their homes

Mitiga airport was bombed by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, according to the UN-backed Government of National Accord
Mitiga airport was bombed by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, according to the UN-backed Government of National Accord

Tripoli’s only functioning airport was bombed on Monday as fighting around the Libyan capital intensified.

The unidentified aircraft dropped a bomb on the runway as passengers were waiting to board their respective flights. Mitiga is the only air link that Tripoli has with the outside world.

Nobody was injured in the attack, which the UN-backed Government of National Accord has blamed on General Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Haftar, who is aligned with a rival administration in the east of the country, ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to move on Tripoli last Thursday.

The offensive has claimed the lives of more than 25 people and injured more than 80, according to the United Nations. Some 3,000 people have also been displaced as a result of the fighting to the south of Tripoli.

Haftar’s forces claimed control of the disused Tripoli international airport on Sunday but the facility appears to have been retaken by militias loyal to the GNA on Monday.

Haftar has so far ignored international calls to stop the offensive and seek a political solution to the turmoil Libya has faced since strongman Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011.

Forces from the city of Misurata, which had fiercely opposed the Gaddafi regime, have moved to protect the capital from Haftar’s advance.

The US withdrew its diplomatic staff and a small military contingent from Libya over the weekend after the security situation deteriorated further.

International companies based in Libya have also withdrawn staff in the wake of military escalation.

READ ALSO: Libya fighting escalates as Haftar forces carry out airstrike on Tripoli suburb

More in World