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Middle East

Fighting rages at Libya's main airport

Battle for control of Tripoli international airport resumes two days after rival militias agreed to a truce.

Last updated: 20 Jul 2014 08:33
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A number of planes were damaged and destroyed in clashes at the airport last week [Reuters]

The battle for control of Libya's main international airport has resumed, reports say, as a truce agreed between rival militias two days ago broke down.

"The airport was attacked this morning with mortar rounds, rockets and tank fire," Jilani al-Dahesh, an airport security official, told AFP on Sunday. "It was the most intense bombardment so far."

The picture posted on Twitter

A picture posted on the internet showed a Libyan Airlines plane on fire as a plume of smoke billowed over the airport.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify when it was taken.

A Libyan security official told the AP news agency that at least two people were killed when a stray rocket hit their house.

Militias from the town of Misrata are vying for control of the facility with its current holders, a militia from Zintan, a town southwest of the capital.

Dahesh said he had no immediate word on any casualties.

Residents of the Qasr Bin Gheshir district close to the airport spoke of heavy exchanges with both sides deploying tanks.

The Misrata force first attacked the airport last Sunday, leading to damage to planes and forcing a halt to all flights.

Officials said it would take months for the airport to be fully functional.

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