Flights in Tripoli suspended for security concerns: aviation authority

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08 April 2019, Libya, Tripoli: Luggage trolleys lie in front of the gate of the Mitiga International Airport after it was bombed by warplanes belonging to the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by commander Khalifa Haftar. On Thursday, Haftar ordered his forces to seize Tripoli from the UN-backed government of Fayez Serraj. Photo: Stringer/dpa (Photo by Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Luggage trolleys lie in front of the gate of the Mitiga International Airport after it was bombed by warplanes belonging to the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by commander Khalifa Haftar. Photo: Stringer/dpa (Photo by Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority announced on Monday that air traffic at Mitiga International Airport had been suspended for security concerns until further notice.

All flights have been transferred to Misrata International Airport, some 200 km east of Tripoli, Nasruddin Shaeb Al-Ain, head of the Civil Aviation Authority, told Xinhua.

The decision came less than 48 hours after Mitiga International Airport was hit by shelling that injured a few people and caused damage to an airplane.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Sunday condemned the shelling.

“UNSMIL condemns in the strongest possible terms this attack, which terrorized passengers and airport staff alike. This attack constitutes a direct threat to the lives of pilgrims and other civilian passengers and cannot be justified under any pretext,” the UNSMIL said in a statement.

“This is the seventh occasion since the end of July 2019 that Mitiga airport was hit by indiscriminate shelling. These vicious attacks are designed to sow fear, create chaos, and disrupt operations at the only working airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli,” the statement said.

The UN-backed government of Libya has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict since early April in and around Tripoli against the east-based army, which is trying to take over the city and overthrow the government.

Libya has been mired in insecurity and chao ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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