Air strikes in Tripoli as battle for control of Libya hots up

TRIPOLI. — War planes from Libya’s internationally recognised government attacked the last functioning airport in Tripoli, the capital controlled by a rival administration, yesterday, officials said, the latest in a string of tit-for-tat strikes.

Rival governments and parliaments are battling for control of the North African country and its oil resources four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

“War planes conducted air strikes this morning on Mitiga airport but there was no damage,” the airport’s spokesman Abdulsalam Buamoud said. “Flights were suspended for only an hour . . . but now the airport is working normally.”

Mohamed al-Hejazi, spokesman for forces loyal to internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, said they had attacked the airport “because it’s outside state legitimacy”.

“Weapons and foreign fighters bound for western Libya pass through the airport,” he added.

Thinni and the elected parliament have been confined to a rump state in the east since an armed faction seized Tripoli in the west over the summer, reinstating the previous assembly and setting up a rival administration. — Reuters.