Tripoli airport under fire for 4th straight day

2014-07-16 19:07
A charred airplane lies on the ground at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital following fighting between rival armed groups. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

A charred airplane lies on the ground at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital following fighting between rival armed groups. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Tripoli international airport came under rocket fire on Wednesday for a fourth straight day, in attacks aimed at ousting anti-Islamist fighters who control the facility, a Libyan security official said.

"The airport was again targeted by mortar fire and rockets for several hours," the official said, asking not to be named.

An AFP photographer said the bombing sparked fires around the airport, setting ablaze a cargo plane on the tarmac and a customs warehouse, sending fire-fighters into action.

Islamist militias have since Sunday unleashed dozens of rockets at Tripoli airport, damaging around a dozen planes and closing down Libya's main air link with the outside world.

An airport official said Wednesday that the facility, controlled by liberal ex-rebels from Zintan, southwest of the capital, would probably remain shut for "several weeks, if not months".

The Zintan fighters, in control of the airport for the past three years, have deployed armoured cars and pick ups on access roads to head off any ground attack.

On Monday, the airport in the country's third city Misrata was also forced to shut down because it is linked to the control tower in Tripoli.

But flights resumed on Tuesday night at Misrata and also at Miitiga military airport in the suburbs of Tripoli, allowing Libyans stranded at airports around the world to return.

With liberal and Islamist militias locked in a deadly power struggle, the Libyan government has said it is considering calling for international forces to help restore security.

Nato aircraft helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 revolution, sparking a power struggle between rival armed groups that has wracked the North African country ever since.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.