Mitiga flights suspended


Flights were suspended until further notice at the only functioning airport in Libya’s capital Tripoli on Friday due to rockets nearby, an airport official said.

The closure of Mitiga Airport comes a day after Turkey’s parliament voted to allow troop deployment to Libya, deepening fears of an escalation of fighting in the North African country.

Eastern-based forces led by military commander Khalifa Haftar have waged a campaign since April to take control of Tripoli from forces aligned with Libya’s internationally recognised government.

The offensive stalled in the outskirts of the city and led to increased international involvement in the conflict.

Mitiga Airport has repeatedly closed and reopened in recent years because of risks from shelling and air strikes.

It most recently reopened on December 12 after a closure of more than three months. Flights were diverted to Misrata, 200 km east.

The cause of the rocket fire that shut the airport on Friday was not immediately clear.

Tripoli’s main airport was closed and partially destroyed in an earlier round of fighting in 2014, when Libya split into rival political and military alliances based in the capital and the east.