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31 Aug 2018 | 03:49 PM UTC

Libya: Mitiga Airport suspends flights as clashes continue August 31 /update 2

Mitiga International Airport (MJI) suspends flights as clashes continue around Tripoli August 31; further fighting expected in the coming days

security
transportation
LBY

Event

Mitiga International Airport (MJI) has reportedly suspended all flight operations on Friday, August 31, amid continued fighting between rival militia groups in the Tripoli area. Local sources indicate that a hangar at MJI was hit by indirect fire, prompting the closure of the airport. As of Friday evening (local time), fighting was ongoing in the Hamza Camp area, with indirect fire impacting places south and southwest of MJI. Though it is ultimately still unclear when regularly scheduled flight services will resume at MJI, initial reporting suggest that the airport will be closed for 48 hours from Friday evening with flights diverting to Misrata International Airport (MRA).

Despite two ceasefires signed in recent days, including the latest on Wednesday, August 29, further fighting is expected in the Tripoli area in the coming days.

Context

At least 33 people have been killed and 101 others have been wounded in the clashes around Tripoli since they began on August 27. Evacuations of citizens have been reported in areas affected by conflict.

Libya has been divided into rival governments and factions with their own militias and political parties since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The security situation in Libya remains precarious and there is little to no sign of a return of relative stability in the near-term.

Advice

Individuals in Libya are advised to avoid the Tripoli area until the situation normalizes, as well as other active conflict areas and large public gatherings, and prepare for flight disruptions at MJI.

The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.

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