Militias Fight Over Control of Libya's Biggest Airport

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Heavy fighting in Libya's capital city has shut down the airport as turmoil in the North African country continues to grow. Three people were killed and several others were injured in fighting across Tripoli on Sunday.

From the Reuters report

Explosions and anti-aircraft gunfire were heard from early morning on the airport road and other parts of Tripoli.

Residents said that Zintan militiamen who had controlled the airport came under fire and local TV footage suggested that the attacking rebels were from the western city of Misratis. 

As we noted, late last month elections were being held in Libya as the country still tries to stabilize three years after Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. The battle for airport highlights one of Libya's biggest problems — the conflict between the various militias that technically serve under the government, but frequently defy it. 

Amid fears of "widespread conflict," the United States has called on the country to get its parliament to work in quickly drafting a new constitution to help end lawlessness there. In the past year alone, roughly $30 billion of oil revenue has been lost in the oil-rich country due to fighting and unrest. The closing of the airport certainly won't help.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.