A man wounded in fighting between security forces and rival
militias receives medical attention at Benghazi Medical
The United Nations has pulled its staff out of Libya
where at least 13 people have been killed in fighting in the
eastern city of Benghazi and in Tripoli, forcing the closure of
the international airport.
Security and medical sources said at least six people were
killed and 25 wounded in Benghazi in heavy fighting between
security forces and rival militias since late Sunday (local
Militias also clashed in the capital Tripoli on Sunday,
killing at least seven people, shutting the main airport and
air control centre and effectively leaving Libya with no
international flights. The fighting was the worst in the
capital for six months.
The U.N. mission in Libya said the closure of Tripoli
International Airport and the deteriorating security
situation made it impossible to fulfil its work.
Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has
slipped deeper into chaos with its weak government and new
army unable to control brigades of former rebel fighters and
militias who often battle for political and economic power.
In Benghazi, irregular forces loyal to renegade former
general Khalifa Haftar bombarded Islamist militia bases as
part of his campaign to oust militants, and special forces
also clashed with militia fighters in the city.
Most of the dead and injured were civilians, according to
security and medical sources at Benghazi hospital. At least
10 houses were hit with missiles and government offices and
banks were forced to close.
Tripoli airport and Misrata city airport were closed on
Monday which, along with the closure two months ago of
Benghazi airport, leaves the country with only a land route
to Tunisia, a flashback to the 1990s when Libya was under
The Tripoli air control centre covering western Libya was
closed because it was not safe for staff to go to work,
aviation officials and state news agency Lana said on Monday.
The control centre is responsible for traffic in Tripoli,
Misrata and Sabha.
That leaves only the tiny Labraq and Tobruk airports in the
east, with few international connections, open for traffic.
People living in western Libya must make an arduous road
journey to Tunisia.
Western powers fear chaos in Libya will allow arms and
militants to flow across its borders. The south of the vast
desert country has become a haven for Islamist militants
kicked out of Mali by French forces earlier this year.