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Libya: conflicts at Tripoli airport, at least 11 dead and 27 injured

Airplanes and traffic suspended. Emergency state declared

Violent conflicts this morning at Tripoli-Mitiga International Airport, Libya, saw two armed groups (Zamrina militia of Bashir Al Buqra and the special deterrence forces -Rada-Tripoline of Hathem al Tajouri) opposed, determining the closure to the air traffic of the airport. Nasseraldin Shaeb, head of the national civil aviation authority has announced that all connections to Tripoli have been diverted to Misurata.

In a statement the presidency of the Government of the National Accord unveiled it that the guerrilla was caused by a group of militiamen who attacked the prison of Mitiga -which is located inside the airport- to "free prisoners of Daesh and Al Qaeda". The Libyan "Al Wasat" reporting declared by airport sources writes that "There are no fires inside the airport of Mitiga, despite four aircraft have been hit by firearms in the conflicts, including three of Afriqiyah Airways and one of the Libyan flag carrier".

Mitiga, a military base near the center of Tripoli, was until 2014 the city civil airport. Attached to the base there is the prison where the clashes took place this morning. To check airport and prison, the anti-terrorist Islamic unit Rada, which confirmed that all area was targeted by a group of militiamen who were headed to Bashir Al Buqra.

The Libyan government declared a state of emergency. Landing and takeoffs have been suspended, while residents around the airport zone evacuated.

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© World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl