Fighting for control of the Libyan capital escalated dramatically on Monday when rebel forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar carried out an airstrike on city’s only operating airport.
The attack came amid reports that the internationally recognised government of National Accord led by Fayyez al-Sarraj had begun conscripting migrants held in detention centres to fight against Gen Haftar’s troops.
At least one jet was seen firing rockets at the Mitiga airport in northern Tripoli on Monday afternoon. The airport said it would be closed for the foreseeable future.
No casualties were reported. At least 2,800 people have been displaced since Gen Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an assault on Tripoli last week.
The LNA said on Monday that 19 of its soldiers had been killed in recent days. The Tripoli based health ministry, on the government side, said at least 25 people including fighters and civilians had been killed and 80 wounded in fighting to the south of the capital.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ health agency, said two doctors had been killed while treating civilians and trying to evacuate patients from combat zones in the city.