Heavy fighting breaks out near Libya's Tripoli airport, affecting flights

TRIPOLI (REUTERS/AFP) - Heavy fighting broke out near the airport of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Sunday, residents and witnesses said as flights were interrupted.

Explosions could be heard on the airport road and other parts of Tripoli.

"Rockets struck inside the airport perimeter around 6 am (0400 GMT)" interrupting flights, an airport official said.

"Clashes followed between the Zintan militia who control the airport and rivals who want to drive them out," the official added.

British Airlines cancelled its flight to London, it said on its website. Turkish Airways cancelled its flight to Istanbul.

Social media websites said several rockets had hit the parking area in front of the main terminal.

The airport area has been controlled by militia fighters from Zintan in northwestern Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 though other groups have challenged them.

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