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Several People Wounded in Rocket Fire on Libya’s Mitiga Airport

Several People Wounded in Rocket Fire on Libya’s Mitiga Airport

Monday, 2 September, 2019 - 05:00
FILE PHOTO: A man walks inside the empty Mitiga airport, in Tripoli, Libya, September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Hani Amara

The only functioning airport in the Libyan capital was closed on Sunday after being struck by artillery fire overnight, which left four people injured, the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj said.

The GNA accused Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) of carrying out the attack, asking the United Nations to intervene.

Among the four people wounded, three were hajj pilgrims.

Airport director Lotfi al-Tabib said Mitiga's runway was damaged and a Libyan Airlines plane, which had brought back pilgrims to their country, was hit by shrapnel, putting it out of service. 

Flights have been suspended "until further notice", he was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse.

Photos on social media showed a damaged passenger jet operated by Libyan Airlines.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said four projectiles hit the civilian parts of the airport including a runway, resulting in damage to a plane carrying dozens of pilgrims and wounding two crew members.

"These vicious attacks are designed to sow fear, create chaos and disrupt operations at the only working airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli," it said in a statement.

It said the attack was the seventh incident of indiscriminate shelling on Mitiga since the end of July. It was documenting the incident to submit its findings to the International Criminal Court and UN Security Council, the statement added.

The Presidential Council of the GNA was quick to blame Haftar’s forces for the attack.

According to a statement released by his office, Sarraj toured Mitiga following the strikes.

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