Militia takes control of Tripoli airport

2012-06-04 16:00

Tripoli - A Libyan security official says disgruntled militiamen have taken over the country's main airport, storming it with heavy machine guns and armoured vehicles and forcing airport authorities to divert flights.

Mohammed el-Gharyani, a member of Tripoli Security Committee, says militiamen from the city of Tarhouna occupied the airport runway on Monday.

Flights were diverted to Metiga air base in the city's centre.

He says the militiamen are angry over arrest of their commander, Abu Elija, on Sunday.

Tarhouna in central Libya was widely seen as a favorite of deposed ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Its dominant tribe, also called Tarhouna, held many positions in the Libyan military under Gaddafi. The city's residents are viewed with suspicion by former rebels.

Tribal rivalries have swept Libya since Gaddafi was overthrown last year.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  security  |  north africa

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