Libya suspends flights at Mitiga airport after shelling

By Walid Abdullah

TRIPOLI (AA) – Air flights were suspended Tuesday at the Mitiga International Airport in Libyan capital Tripoli after a shell fell on the airport late Monday.

The airport said on its official Facebook page that aviation was suspended “due to the repeated falling of shelling on Mitiga International Airport by an irresponsible side.”

The airport said flights will be grounded “until a further notice” and shared a number of photos of vehicles damaged by the shelling.

Last week, Libyan authorities resumed air aviation at the airport after a two-week closure.

Since August 26, the Libyan capital has been the scene of on-again, off-again clashes between armed groups loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based unity government and others said to oppose it.

On Tuesday, the “Tripoli Protection Force” — affiliated with the unity government — assumed control of the capital’s southern districts.

Libya has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — and a host of heavily armed militia groups.