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Libyan government reopens Tripoli airport despite threat of shelling

Tripoli: Libya’s United Nations-backed government said it would reopen Tripoli’s only operational airport on Thursday, a day after rival forces based in the east of the troubled country threatened to target aircraft using the facility.
On Wednesday, the Government of National Accord (GNA) backed by the UN halted traffic at Mitiga airport in central Tripoli, accusing the rival self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar of shelling the airport. Flights have since been diverted to Misrata airport outside Tripoli.
An LNA spokesman said later Haftar’s forces had enforced a non-fly zone on Tripoli, including Mitiga, and threatened to hit aircraft using it.
The Tripoli government said on Thursday it was resuming air traffic at Mitiga and condemned the rivals’ threats as an “intentional war crime.” “The [GNA] government reminds the international community of its responsibilities towards international agreements pertaining to safety of civil aviation, airports and all civil installations.” In recent weeks, there have been a flurry of global efforts aimed at halting a years-long conflict in Libya.
On January 12, a ceasefire called by Russia and Turkey went into effect in and around Tripoli, the target of a months-long campaign by Haftar’s forces. Both sides have since traded accusations of breaches. (DPA)