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03 Jan 2020 | 04:46 AM UTC

Libya: Flights suspended at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport (MJI) January 3

Flights suspended at Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport (MJI) following rocket fire on January 3; similar attacks possible over the near term

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LBY

Event

Flights at Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport (MJI) have been suspended until further notice on the morning (local time) of Friday, January 3, after an estimated 20 rocket fires were reported  at around 00:20 (local time) near airport facilities. No casualties or damages were immediately reported. Details on the attack are still emerging.

As of 12:00, staff have reportedly been allowed back into the airport. Operations are likely to resume in the coming hours.

Residual flight cancelations in and diversions from MJI may likely persist. Similar attacks are also likely over the near term.

Context

On January 2, Turkey's parliament voted to allow a troop deployment to Libya, deepening fears of a dangerous escalation of violence that could further threaten stability in Libya and in the region.

Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport (MJI) has been targeted by air and mortar strikes multiple times in recent months; however, the strikes generally do not hit the main runway, or any civilian facilities and normal flight operations have typically been restored within a few hours.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) launched an offensive on Tripoli on April 4 and prompted evacuations of foreigners from Tripoli on April 7, 2019. LNA and Government of National Accord (GNA) airstrikes have been sporadically reported since April 8, 2019. The bulk of recent fighting has been concentrated in the southern suburbs of the capital.

Advice

Individuals in Tripoli and those traveling via MJI are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations, avoid areas affected by fighting, maintain safe and current evacuation plans, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Libya remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.