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Flights Resume at Libyan Airport after 5-Day Closure

Flights Resume at Libyan Airport after 5-Day Closure

Saturday, 20 January, 2018 - 19:00
A plane flies over Mitiga airport following clashes, in Tripoli, Libya. (Reuters)

Flights resumed at Libya’s Mitiga airport five days after clashes forced its closure.

The airport, located just east of Tripoli city center, appeared to be operating normally, with both departures and arrivals areas busy with passengers.

“All domestic and international flights have ...resumed,” said an airport official who asked not to be named for security reasons. “No technical problems have been reported and security is under control.”

Lotfi Khalil, the director general of the airport, said services resumed with Buraq Air flying to the eastern city of Tobruk and Libyan Airlines leaving for Tunis.

One local carrier, state-owned Afriqiyah Airways, however, has yet to resume operations because its planes were damaged in Monday's fighting in which at least 20 people were killed, he told AFP.

Fighting on Monday pitted the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), which is aligned with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and an armed group based in the nearby Tajoura district.

At least 20 people were killed and 60 wounded. The four Libyan airlines operating out of Mitiga have been rushing to repair or replace aircraft that were hit by gunfire or artillery while parked there during the battle.

Flights to evacuate or repatriate foreign migrants from Tripoli, which are mainly operated by UN agencies, were suspended because of Mitiga’s closure.

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