Three killed in airstrikes near Libyan capital as civilian flights temporarily suspended

Three killed in airstrikes near Libyan capital as civilian flights temporarily suspended
2 min read
24 August, 2019
Three people have been killed in airstrikes south of Tripoli. Earlier on Saturday, flights from Libya's Mitiga Airport were temporarily suspended following a rocket attack.
A policeman inspects a car damaged by a rocket attack on Mitiga Airport [Getty]

Three civilians were killed on Saturday in an air raid south of the Libyan capital, a source in the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said.

"Several air strikes have targeted different positions in the Al-Swani area (25 kilometres from Tripoli), killing three civilians who were in a vehicle en route from Al-Krimiya," GNA spokesman Mustafa al-Mejii told AFP.

"One of the raids hit a house in the area," he added, accusing rogue Major-General Khalifa Haftar of being behind the strikes and others targeting residential areas of the capital and its suburbs.

Earlier on Saturday flights were temporarily suspended at Libya's Mitiga Airport, Tripoli's only functioning civilian airport, following an early-morning rocket attack also blamed by the government on Haftar.

Authorities said a rocket hit just as two flights were landing - a Buraq Air flight from Istanbul and a Libyan Airlines flight inbound from Medina in Saudi Arabia carrying over 200 passengers, including pilgrims returning from Mecca.

Flights resumed around midday.

Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive on April 4 to conquer Tripoli.

After more than four months of clashes, the opposing sides remain embroiled in a stalemate on the capital's southern outskirts.

Since April, the fighting has killed at least 1,093 people and wounded 5,752, while some 120,000 others have been displaced, according to the World Health Organization.

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