Libya closes airport after rockets hit runway

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TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities closed the airport in the capital Tripoli on Friday after rockets hit a runway on Friday, officials said. “Flights were halted but the airport has been reopened using a second runway,” a spokesman for the transport ministry told a reporter visiting the airport.

But the reporter saw no planes taking off or landing.

“We cancelled all flights,” said the country head of a foreign airline with several daily flights to Tripoli.

Nasser El Kerewi, head of the Tripoli security and stability committee, said it was not known who was behind the Friday attack.

“Two rockets exploded on the main runway of the airport, causing damage. For security reasons, flights were suspended until further notice,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

The blasts took place at around 05:00am (0300 GMT), at a time when the day’s inbound and outbound traffic had yet to begin.

An airline representative in the capital said that the authorities had informed firms operating at the airport that flights would remain suspended until 1030 GMT on Saturday.

Maintenance teams were clearing the first runway of debris, the spokesman said, adding it was unclear who had fired the rockets which landed at dawn.

Gunfire could be heard during the night in the capital, residents said.

Libya’s government struggles with militias that helped overthrow Muammar Qadhafi in 2011 but which have kept their guns to demand power, oil wealth and influence.

On Thursday, however, the government announced it was mobilising its security forces after acknowledging for the first time that “terrorist groups” were behind dozens of attacks against security services and Westerners. ****(now the nationalists are called “terrorist groups” really? While Alqaeda, Alsharia, Muslimbrotherhood, L.I.F.G. and other extremist groups are not “TERRORIST GROUPS”?)

“The nation finds itself in a confrontation with terrorist groups, and it falls upon the government to mobilize its military and security forces to fight this scourge,” said a statement published on the government’s website.

“There will be no place for terrorism in Libya and Libyans must be prepared for such a battle in terms of caution, awareness and sacrifice,” said the statement.

An overnight government statement called on “the international community and in particular the United Nations to provide the necessary support to eradicate terrorism in Libyan cities.”

The government said “the cities of Benghazi, Derna and Sirte and others are facing a terrorist war carried out by Libyan and foreign elements with hostile intentions.” ****(please in the above cities are Nationalists Revolutionaries who are fighting the EXTREMIST NATO PUPPET GOVERNMENT)

source: gulftoday.ae

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