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Iran Press TV

Libyan militias' battle for Tripoli airport forces 100s to flee

Iran Press TV

Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:3PM GMT

Hundreds of Libyans have been forced to leave their homes as clashes continue between rival militia groups near Tripoli international airport.

The new clashes in Tripoli raged on Friday and Saturday between members of the two warring militia groups from the cities of Misrata and Zintan and focused on a bridge leading to the capital's international airport, which is controlled by the Zintan forces.

Grad missiles and artillery were used in two days of battle. Confrontation abated on Sunday after Misrata fighters claimed that they had seized the bridge and an army barracks.

There are reports that around 1,000 families have fled the new round of fighting between rival militias in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, parallel fighting is underway in Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, where forces loyal to renegade retired General Khalifa Haftar are battling militants.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has said in a statement that it 'deeply regrets that there was no response to the repeated international appeals and its own efforts for an immediate ceasefire.'

On August 14, Libya's newly-elected parliament asked the UN for a military intervention to protect civilians amid relentless clashes.

The legislative body also voted to dissolve rival militias, giving them an ultimatum to join the military and police by the end of 2014.

Nearly three years after the fall of slain ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, in a popular uprising in October 2011, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups.


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