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Libya: Heavy clashes hit Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, 9 killed

By Deepika
|

At least 9 people were killed on Monday after heavy gunfire broke out between the Special Deterrence Force, based at the airport, and Brigade 33 from Tajoura.

 Heavy clashes hit Tripoli’s Mitiga airport. Photo credit: Twitter

Heavy gunfire and artillery could be heard from the city center and Mitiga airport said all flights had been suspended until further notice, reports a state media.

The fighting pitted the Special Deterrence Force (Rada), one of the most powerful groups in the city, against a rival group based in Tripoli's Tajoura neighborhood.

Rada acts as an anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit and controls Mitiga airport and a large prison next to it. It is occasionally targeted by rivals whose members it has arrested.

The bodies of at least nine combatants had been brought to a nearby hospital, a health ministry official said. Local media reported that at least 28 people had been wounded.

Mitiga is a military air base near the center of Tripoli that has been the city's main airport for civilian flights since the international airport was partly destroyed by fighting in 2014.

The international airport remains out of service.

It's the second encounter between the two groups within a month. On December 13, they engaged in a heavy exchange of fire in Al-Shat Road, but the fight was soon put on hold after mediation.

OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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