Libya Islamist militias 'seize Tripoli airport'
Published on Aug 24, 2014 6:27 AM
TRIPOLI (AFP) - Islamist fighters in the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition said on Saturday they have captured Tripoli's battered international airport after many days of clashes with nationalist militiamen.
The claim followed a setback the previous night when a warplane raided Islamist positions, killing 13 fighters, a Fajr Libya spokesman said.
If independent sources confirm the airport has changed hands, it would be a major defeat for the nationalist fighters from Zintan west of Tripoli who have held the airport since the fall of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
A statement shown on screen on An-Nabaa television, regarded as close to the Islamists, said: "Fajr Libya announces that it totally controls Tripoli international airport." Later a spokesman for the Islamist coalition, partly comprising men from Misrata, east of Tripoli, said its fighters "have entered the airport and are mopping up pockets of resistance".
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