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22.04.2019 Libya

Day flights to resume at Libya capital's airport

By AFP
Mitiga International airport was closed to daytime flights after an air strike on April 8.  By Mahmud TURKIA (AFP)
APR 22, 2019 LIBYA
Mitiga International airport was closed to daytime flights after an air strike on April 8. By Mahmud TURKIA (AFP)

Day-time flights will resume at Tripoli's only functioning airport after it was closed to all but night-time traffic earlier this month for "security reasons", Libyan airport authorities said Monday.

"We have received the order to open air space at Mitiga International Airport 24 hours a day", the airport said on its official Facebook page.

Mitiga airport had been closed between 0600 GMT and 1500 GMT daily after an April 8 air strike claimed by strongman Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army.

Haftar on April 4 launched an offensive to take the capital Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

The airport was also closed for several hours on Saturday night, resulting in the re-routing of at least two flights to Misrata over 200 kilometres (125 miles) away, as fighting intensified after a counter-attack by forces loyal to the GNA and amid reports of new air strikes.

Haftar's offensive is the latest round of fighting in a years-long struggle for control of Libya following the NATO-backed rebellion that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The capital's main airport was destroyed in fighting in 2014.

Mitiga airport is on a former military base on the city's outskirts, and it was forced to close several times because of clashes between militias last year.

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