Thirty dead as Libyan airport violence rages on
Attacks on the main international airport in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli have left 30 people dead, medical sources say.
Intense fighting has been going on since July 13, when rival militias unleashed dozens of rocket attacks on Tripoli International Airport and some key road intersections in a bid to bring the airport under their control.
The attacks have damaged around a dozen planes and led to the closure of Libya’s main air link with the outside world. According to medical sources, the fighting has so far killed 30 people and injured more than 40.
Airport officials say the facility will probably remain closed for “several weeks, if not months.”
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya also has pulled its staff out of the African country due to the security conditions. The mission said the closure of the airport and the deteriorating security in the key cities of Benghazi and Tripoli made it impossible to fulfill its work.
The airport is controlled by the militias from the town of Zintan, southwest of the capital, since the overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Nearly three years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups.
The former rebels refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.
Thousands of angry Libyan demonstrators have frequently taken to the streets in different cities to protest against the lack of security across the North African country.