Clashes in Tripoli kill 11, closes airport - UPDATED
Heavy clashes broke out around Mitiga airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, with reports saying up to 11 people had been killed as all flights were suspended, APA reported citing Times of Malta.
Heavy gunfire could be heard from the center of the city and the airport said all flights had been suspended until further notice.
The fighting pitted the Special Deterrence Force (Rada), one of the most powerful groups in the city, against a rival group based in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighborhood.
The director of Tripoli Field Hospital Abdeldayem Al-Rabti told Alnabaa that 11 people killed and 38 were injured so far in the clashes.
The international airport remains out of service.
Heavy clashes broke out around Mitiga Airport on Monday between the Special Deterrence Force, based at the airport, and Brigade 33 from Tajoura, APA reported citing The Libya Observer.
The reason behind the clashes is yet to be known, but some sources indicated that tensions are rising between both groups over the detention of some people by the Special Deterrence Force.
Both sides exchanged heavy fire since the early morning. Schools in the fighting zone were closed and government employees were told to evacuate.
Black smoke billowed from Mitiga Airport as they continued the fighting.
Flights were suspended and arrivals were diverted to Misrata Airport.
It’s the second encounter between the two groups within a month. On December 13, they engaged in a heavy exchange of fire in Al-Shat Road, but the fight was soon put on hold after mediation.
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