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September 6, 2018 | Libya

Only working airport in Libya capital reopens after clashes

AFP
Mitiga airport pictured on September 4, 2018, before it reopened on Thursday as a ceasefire held following deadly clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli.  By Mahmud TURKIA (AFP)
Mitiga airport pictured on September 4, 2018, before it reopened on Thursday as a ceasefire held following deadly clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli. By Mahmud TURKIA (AFP)

The only working airport in Tripoli reopened Thursday, after being forced to close by deadly clashes in the Libyan capital last week, the transport ministry said.

The announcement comes two days after the United Nations mission in Libya announced a ceasefire agreement between rival militias.

In addition to ending the fighting in which at least 63 people have been killed, the deal paved the way for Mitiga airport in the east of the city to reopen.

"Flights will resume gradually," Milad Maatoug, Libya's transport minister, said in a statement.

Several rockets landed near the airport last week, forcing authorities to suspend operations on Friday and divert flights to Misrata some 200 kilometres (124 miles) to the east.

Libya's civil aviation authority said it had started to coordinate "a gradual resumption of flights" with airlines.

A former military airport, Mitiga was opened to civil air traffic after the destruction of Tripoli's international airport in the south of the city during clashes in 2014.

Since then only Libyan airlines have operated in the country, running internal flights and regular connections to a handful of countries including Tunisia and Turkey.

Libyan airlines are banned from European Union airspace for "security reasons".

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