Libya's Mitiga airport resumes air traffic after missile strike
Johannesburg – Air space re-opened at the Libyan capital's only functioning airport, Mitiga, on Sunday after it was halted following a fall of missiles, according to a post on the Mitiga airport authority's Facebook page.
The airport authority added that the carrier companies will begin receiving passengers to complete the rest of their re-scheduled flights for the day shortly.
Three Afriqiyah airlines employees were injured and a plane was hit. No immediate comment was available from the carrier.
An airplane coming from Tunisia Carthage airport to Mitiga was redirected earlier Sunday to Misrata international airport that serves the Mediterranean coastal city of Misrata in Libya instead, after Mitiga’s air space shut down, according to the authority's Facebook page.
While nobody has claimed responsibility for the shelling the airport has been targeted over five times by renegade general Khalifa Hafter’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) forces, the Libya Express reported.
The LNA, which supports the House of Representatives (HoR) authority in Tobruk in the east, launched a military invasion on Tripoli at the beginning of April in an attempt to overthrow the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). Fighting continues with neither side gaining the upper hand.
Tripoli’s International Airport was severely damaged during militia fighting in 2014 forcing flights to be moved to Mitiga.
Meanwhile, as fighting in the capital continues, militants from the Islamic State (IS) have resurfaced and released a video in Libya’s desert region pledging allegiance to the group’s leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
In the video militants dressed in military uniform vow to continue with Jihdad until “the word of God is upheld”.
The Security and Protection Force in the city of Sirte has already issued several warnings that the IS may be back in action and is profiting from the chaos in Tripoli.
African News Agency (ANA) and Reuters