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Tripoli flights halted after strike by Libya strongman

AFP  |  Tripoli 

The Libyan capital's only functioning airport suspended flights on Wednesday after an air raid claimed by strongman Khalifa Haftar's forces, airport authorities said in a statement.

The attack did not cause casualties or damage, a security source at Mitiga airport said.

But Ahmad al-Mesmari, a spokesman for Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army, said that a "command centre for drones at Mitiga" was destroyed in the raid.

Haftar launched an offensive in early April to take the capital Tripoli, seat of the rival Government of National Accord. The GNA is recognised by the international community.

Over the past three months his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has repeatedly targeted Mitiga airport. It says it is targeting "Turkish drones" which it claims take off from Mitiga to carry out strikes on LNA forces south of Tripoli.

On Sunday the LNA said it had destroyed a Turkish drone in a strike on Mitiga, which prompted aviation authorities to temporarily suspend flights there.

Haftar's forces, which hold much of eastern and southern Libya, last month lost a key town to forces loyal to the unity government in an operation the strongman has accused Ankara of backing.

Afterwards Haftar ordered his forces to target Turkish companies, ban flights and arrest Turkish nationals in Libya, his spokesman said Friday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 04 2019. 02:10 IST
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