Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport shutdown after fierce fighting

16 November 2014 (Last Updated November 16th, 2014 18:30)

Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport has been shut down, following deadly fighting between Islamist militia and forces backed by Libya's internationally recognised government.

Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport has been shut down, following deadly fighting between Islamist militia and forces backed by Libya's internationally recognised government.

Located in eastern Tripoli, Mitiga has been serving as the capital's main airport, after Tripoli International Airport was closed due to conflict earlier this year.

Al Arabiya News reported that at least four people were killed and ten wounded in clashes between the two groups around the Mitiga air base.

"Mitiga has been serving as the capital's main airport, after Tripoli International Airport was closed due to conflict earlier this year."

Prime minister Abdallah al-Thinni's internationally recognised government and the elected House of Representatives are holed up in the eastern city of Tobruk and the two warring groups are now fighting for control over Libya and its oil resources.

The conflict, which has been going on since May, escalated in July when Islamists reacted to the electoral defeat of Islamist politicians and launched 'Operation Libya Dawn' to seize Tripoli International Airport. The airport was finally captured on 23 August after 41 days.

The following day, forces from Operation Libya Dawn announced that they had consolidated the whole city and adjacent towns after driving out rival Zintan militias 90km south of the capital.

The attack on the airport had resulted in the destruction of at least 90% of the airport's facilities and 20 aircraft, reported The Los Angeles Times.

More than three years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi was removed from power and killed in a NATO-backed revolt, the country is facing political unrest and is currently being run by rival governments and parliaments.