UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — A rocket-propelled grenade suspended air traffic at the Mitiga airport in the Libyan capital on Saturday as two flights from Istanbul and Medina arrived without causing casualties.
The management of Mitiga International Airport in a statement published on its official page on Facebook “suspension of air navigation at the airport until further notice, as a result of exposure to a missile.”
The statement said that the fall of the shell coincided with the arrival of a flight belonging to Buraq Airlines coming from Istanbul airport, and another Libyan Airlines coming from Medina with 265 pilgrims on board.
No one claimed responsibility for the launch, but the forces of the “volcano of anger” of the government of national reconciliation, blamed the forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter responsibility.
Operation “Volcano of Wrath” posted on its official Facebook page pictures of a large gathering of passengers at the gate leading to the airport terminal, and others showing damage to the airport parking, where a number of cars were damaged by shrapnel.
A hole appeared on the pavement adjacent to the parking lot, apparently caused by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Mitiga airport was closed several times, especially due to occasional aerial bombardment by the forces of Field Marshal Hifter, which accuses the government of using Al-Wefaq for “military purposes” as well as other charges of taking off Turkish drones from its runway.
Mitiga International Airport is located inside an air base and serves as an alternative to Tripoli International Airport, which has been inactive since 2014.
Civil flights in the country are limited to Libyan airlines that operate regular domestic and foreign flights with countries such as Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salameh, reiterated on several occasions his condemnation of the repeated strikes on Mitiga airport, stressing that his continued targeting may amount to a “war crime”.
Since April 4, Hifter’s forces have been pursuing an offensive to take control of Tripoli, where the UN-recognized Accord government is based.
The fighting, which entered its fifth month, killed about 1093 people and wounded 5762, including civilians, while the number of displaced people approached 120 thousand people, according to UN agencies.
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