Libya crisis: After `mystery air strikes` on them, Islamist `terrorists` take Tripoli airport

In a major blow to Libya`s nationalist fighters from Zintan, Tripoli`s International airport has been captured by Islamist-led militias of Libyan Dawn coalition (Fajr Libya), reports said Sunday.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Aug 24, 2014, 17:30 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Tripoli: In a major blow to Libya`s nationalist fighters from Zintan, Tripoli`s International airport has been captured by Islamist-led militias of Libyan Dawn coalition (Fajr Libya), reports said Sunday.

The capture of Tripoli airport comes after the Islamist militias from Misrata had been targeted in `mystery airstrikes` for a second time this week, reports the BBC.

More than a dozen militants of the Libya Dawn were killed when a warplane pummelled their positions yesterday night.

The airport`s capture has been condemned by Libya`s newly-elected Parliament which tonight said Operation Fajr and Ansar Sharia are terrorist groups and legitimate targets for the Libyan army.

The airport, which was shut on July 13 in wake of clashes that had gripped the region, has been under the control of nationalist fighters from Zintan since Moammar Gaddafi`s ouster in 2011.

On Saturday, the Fajr Libya blamed the mystery Friday night strike on the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Egypt, however denied having any role in the air strikes.

In a statement read before the journalists, Fajr Libya called the strikes as “cowardly aggression” by the Emirates and Egypt, Xinhua reported.

Accusing the newly-elected Libyan Government as being in cahoots with the foreign forces in carrying the strikes, the alliance added that the new parliament was illegitimate and the former governing body, the Islamist-dominated General National Council should reconvene.

The armed Islamist groups have been on the receiving end of unknown airstrikes during the past week.

Libya is witnessing the worst violence since 2011`s civil war as more than a hundred have been killed in the clashes between armed Islamist groups and pro-secular militias in Tripoli alone.

The clashes erupted in mid July when Islamist-led militias from Misrata staged an attack on Tripoli airport, to take it from militias from Zintan.

As Libya is increasingly slipping into a phase of chaos and violence, other nations are prohibiting its citizens to ravel to the region, and also urged its citizens living in Benghazi to leave.

Libya, which was exempted from decades-old dictatorship in 2011 after a gory civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, is still struggling to maintain law and order and a stable government as the rivalry between militias has intensified.