At least two thousand, eight hundred people have fled from the fighting near Libya’s capital, Tripoli, according to the UN. Other civilians are trapped by the clashes and are cut off from vital emergency services, it says.
Forces under General Khalifa Haftar began an attack on the city last Thursday with aim of wresting it from Libya’s UN-backed government. Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj has accused Gen Haftar of attempting a coup and says rebels will be met with force.
Today, there was an air strike at Tripoli’s only functioning airport, Matiga. Reports indicate it was carried out by forces loyal to General Haftar but there was no confirmation. An eyewitness told newsmen that one warplane hit militia targets based at the airport, adding that there were no reports of casualties.
Passengers were seen evacuating the terminal shortly after as the airport announced online it was closing. Libya has been torn by violence, political instability and power struggles since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.
International powers started evacuating personnel from the country in recent days.