Fierce fighting for control of Tripoli airport killed at least seven people yesterday, and resulted in the suspension of flights for at least three days. Local television showed images of militiamen from the region of Misrata attacking at the dawn of the forces controlling the airport. Rockets, sounds of heavy weapons and explosions were heard. At least 36 people were wounded.
A pilot has published via Twitter a picture of an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 plane hit by the fire, and two airplanes belong to the Libyan Airlines being shown on television surrounded by smoke. It is still impossible to assess the extent of the damage and thus the authorities have decided to suspend all flights to and from the capital.
Flights of Libyan airlines, Tunisair, British Airways, Egyptair, Turkish Airlines, Air Malta and Royal Jordanian were among flights canceled Sunday. In normal conditions, the airport also hosts aircraft of the Royal Air Morocco, Air Algeria, Syphax Airlines, Alitalia, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways.
The airport in the capital had been the scene of clashes between militias during June 2012, and the continuing tension in the country, for example, pushed Austrian Airways to indefinitely suspend its flights to Tripoli.