Country Risk

Localised fighting between rival militias in Libya’s capital indicates vulnerability of airport and seaport to collateral damage

19 October 2017


In Tripoli, rival militias engaged in unconnected outbreaks of heavy fighting on 16 and 17 October in the city centre, and in the eastern Ghararat and Souk al-Juma districts.

The fighting began when a neighbourhood militia from Ghararat attacked Mitiga airport in an apparent attempt to free one of their number from a detention facility at the site. They were beaten off by the RADA Special Deterrence Force which controls the airport, although fire was exchanged within the airport’s perimeter. This included at least one rocket-propelled grenade, which killed a senior RADA commander. Unverified photos posted on Twitter claimed to show a Libyan Airlines Airbus A330 that had been damaged by several bullet impacts.

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