Battle rages for Libya's capital, airport bombed

Battle rages for Libya's capital, airport bombed

The only functioning airport in Tripoli has been attacked by a fighter jet as clashes in the Libyan capital continue, Reuters reported on Monday.

The country has been torn by violence, political instability and power struggles since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.

The worldwide body has also said its call for a humanitarian truce has been ignored and emergency services said they had not been able to enter the areas where fighting was taking place.

A cease-fire is imperative to ensure that civilians trapped in fighting around the Libyan capital can escape to safer areas and that the wounded can be evacuated, he said.

The LNA said it had carried out its first air raid on a Tripoli suburb. "It conducted a very successful operation to secure the airport road (to city centre)", he added.

Meanwhile, fighting was underway Monday at Tripoli's former worldwide airport, some 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of the city.

Unity government health minister A'hmid Omar told Libya's Al-Ahrar television station late Sunday that around 50 people had been wounded along with those killed.

Speaking at the EU's foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, Mogherini said all sides in the recent surge in fighting should "go back to the negotiating table under the auspices of the U.N".

On Sunday, April 7, Russian Federation blocked proposals for the council to adopt a formal statement, instead insisting that all Libyan forces be urged to stop fighting, diplomats said. It gave no details.

Mitiga airport, in the eastern quarter of Tripoli, was shuttered after it was attacked by Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA).

Forces with the Tripoli government have announced an operation to defence the capital called "Volcano of Anger".

Lawless since Gaddafi was toppled by rebels backed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air strikes, Libya has become the transit point hundreds of thousands of migrants trekking across the Sahara with the objective of reaching Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

Haftar enjoys the backing of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which see him as a bulwark against Islamists and have supported him militarily, according to UN reports.

"We assure you that the LNA will be embraced by the residents of Tripoli".

Eastern Libyan forces tried to push towards the center of Tripoli on April 8 after their easy desert advance hit a tougher urban phase, with deaths and displacements mounting despite Western appeals for a truce and a return to a peace plan. But gaining control of Tripoli - the ultimate prize for Haftar's eastern parallel government - would be far more complicated.

But the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj has armed groups arriving from nearby Misrata to help block the LNA. Misrata is known for a spirit of resisting "old regime" figures, developed during 2011 when pro-Gaddafi forces besieged it for three months.

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