Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Airport clashes leave 11 dead in Libyan capital

Airport clashes leave 11 dead in Libyan capital

Tripoli: At least 16 persons were killed and 48 others injured on Monday as an outlawed militia group attacked Libya's Tripoli International Airport with heavy weapons, a medical source said.

The Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) declared a state of emergency in the country's capital of Tripoli on Monday over the deadly clashes at the Mitiga International Airport, according to the GNA's statement.

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Local media reported that almost 30 people had been wounded in the fighting, which caused Mitiga to suspend all flights until further notice.

Clashes erupted this morning between Brigade 33 led by Basheer Al-Bugra and the Special Deterrence Force that is operating the Mitiga Airport.

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"The closure of the airport was because of the ongoing clashes". An armed group launched an attack in the airport area, where there are more than 2,500 prisoners serving sentences for various crimes, said the special anti-terrorist forces "Rada", which are responsible for airport security, on their facebook page. Apart from the airport, Rada also controls a large prison next to it. "We are waiting for the clashes to stop and for the airport to be secure again to resume air traffic", al-Ain told Xinhua, pointing out that flights have been temporarily transferred to the airport of Misurata city, some 250 km east Tripoli.

Mitiga is a military air base near the center of Tripoli that began hosting civilian flights after the global airport was put out of service in 2014.

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Tripoli has been controlled by a patchwork of armed groups since a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi and led to the splintering of the country.

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