Mitiga Airport open again


The only functioning airport in the Libyan capital reopened on Saturday after a five-day closure caused by deadly clashes that left passenger jets damaged.

Mitiga airport, just east of Tripoli city centre, appeared to be operating normally, with both departures and arrivals areas busy with passengers.
“All domestic and international flights have resumed,” said an airport official who asked not to be named for security reasons. “No technical problems have been reported and security is under control.”

Fighting last week pitted the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), aligned with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), and an armed group based in nearby Tajoura district.

At least 20 people were killed and 60 wounded. Four Libyan airlines operating out of Mitiga have been rushing to repair or replace aircraft hit by gunfire or artillery during the battle.

Flights to evacuate or repatriate foreign migrants from Tripoli, mainly operated by UN agencies, were suspended because of Mitiga’s closure.

Tripoli has frequently been shaken by clashes between armed groups since Libya slid into chaos and violence following the overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi in 2011. Under the GNA, several large groups expanded power and the situation remains fragile.

Tripoli’s main international airport was badly damaged by fighting in 2014 and is still out of service.