Rockets fired near Tripoli airport, ISIS claims oil company attack


Rockets were fired late on Tuesday in the direction of the airport in Libya’s capital, residents said forcing a diversion of flights, just on a week after the United Nations brokered a fragile truce between rival armed groups in Tripoli.

A spokesman for a faction controlling Matiga airport, the only one functioning in the capital, said there were no casualties or damage. Libyan TV channels reported several people wounded by rockets, one of which landed in the Mediterranean.

Rival groups are fighting in Tripoli with clashes focused south of the city. Matiga airport is in an eastern suburb.

A Libyan Airlines flight bound for Tripoli from Alexandria, Egypt, was diverted to Misrata, the airport said on its Facebook page. Misrata lies about 190 km east of Tripoli.

A spokesman for Misrata airport said all flights bound for Tripoli would be diverted to Misrata.

Separately, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on the headquarters of Libyan state oil company NOC in Tripoli, the jihadist group’s news agency said.

The attack on Monday killed two NOC staff and wounded 10, said officials, who described the three shooters killed as “Africans.”

It targeted the “economic interests of oppressing governments funding crusaders,” a statement carried on the militants’ Amaq news agency said.

It was the first attack of its kind against the leadership of Libya’s state oil industry.

Libya is divided into rival administrations but NOC continues to function relatively normally across the country, which relies on oil exports for most of its income.

Militants loyal to Islamic State have previously carried out attacks in Tripoli and elsewhere, despite having lost their stronghold in Sirte late in 2016.

In May, Islamic State claimed a fatal attack on the national election commission offices in Tripoli.