Accessibility links

Second Airstrike Hits Airport in Libya's Capital

  • Reuters

Men stand beside a damaged building near Mitiga airport in Libya's capital Tripoli, Nov. 25, 2014.

Men stand beside a damaged building near Mitiga airport in Libya's capital Tripoli, Nov. 25, 2014.

An airstrike hit the last functioning commercial airport in Libya's capital Tripoli for a second day running on Tuesday, residents said, as a power struggle in the oil-rich nation intensified.

Three years after the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is being lacerated by rival factions, one of which has set up an alternative administration in Tripoli after seizing the city in fighting during the summer.

Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government's air force was responsible for strikes on the airport of the capital Tripoli, controlled by a rival administration, a statement said on Tuesday.

“The airstrikes on Mitiga airport were conducted by the national air force to target the group Libya Dawn,” Thinni's government website quoted him as saying. He was referring to an armed group backing the rival government controlling Tripoli.

Thinni spoke after U.N. special envoy Bernadino Leon had asked him to end the airstrikes, according to the statement.

There were no reports of casualties.

Tripoli's Mitiga airport has been hit twice since Monday.

Focusing on airport

Former Libya General Khalifa Haftar has been using his war planes to attack targets mainly in the eastern city of Benghazi, but recently also in western Libya. Haftar's forces said Tripoli's Mitiga airport has been used for military purposes by their opponents.

An airport spokesman said commercial flights to the airport had been halted because of the violence.

The new government in Tripoli said several houses were hit in Monday's strike, but said no damage was reported from the second attack on Tuesday morning.

Thinni lost control of the Libyan capital in August when an armed group linked to the western city of Misrata seized the city and set up an alternative government and parliament.