Flights suspended in Libya’s capital due to rocket fire

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A plane sits on the tarmac after landing at Mitiga airport a few days after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there, on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on January 20, 2018. - The Libyan capital's only working international airport (Photo by Mahmud(Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

An airport official in Tripoli says flights have been suspended until further notice at the only functioning airport in Libya’s capital due to rockets falling nearby.

FILE PHOTO: A plane sits on the tarmac after landing at Mitiga airport a few days after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there, on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on January 20, 2018. – The Libyan capital’s only working international airport./AFP/Getty Images

The Friday closure of Mitiga Airport comes a day after Turkey’s parliament voted to allow a troop deployment to Libya, deepening fears of an escalation of fighting in the North African country.

Eastern-based forces led by military commander Khalifa Haftar have been waging a campaign since April to take control of Tripoli from forces aligned with Libya’s internationally recognized government.

The offensive soon stalled in the outskirts of the city, but has led to increased international involvement in the conflict.

Mitiga Airport has been repeatedly closed and reopened in recent years because of risks from shelling and air strikes.

It most recently reopened on Dec. 12 after a closure of nearly 3-1/2 months. Flights had been diverted to Misrata, some 200 km (125 miles) to the east of the capital.

The cause of the rocket fire that shut the airport on Friday was not immediately clear.

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