UN evacuates Tripoli, Libyan militia gains control of airport

UN evacuates Tripoli, Libyan militia gains control of airport

[Ed. – Yes, things are getting very bad in Libya.]

Libyan militia fighters with anti aircraft guns and mortars fanned out on Tuesday across Tripoli’s airport, transformed into a battlefield by two days of fighting that has cut the Libyan capital off from the outside world.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was working to help end to violence that has brought the north African country to the edge of chaos three years after the uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

At least 15 people have been killed in the capital and the eastern city of Benghazi since Sunday. Fighting between rival militias at the capital’s airport damaged the control tower and wrecked 11 civilian aircraft parked on the tarmac. The main terminal building has been turned into a field hospital.

n Benghazi, irregular forces loyal to renegade former general Khalifa Haftar, a former Gaddafi ally, bombarded Islamist militia bases as part of his self-declared campaign to oust militants. Special forces clashed with militia fighters in the city.

The Tripoli airport battle has prompted the United Nations to evacuate its staff from the country, where a new government is struggling to impose order over streets prowled by fighters who rose up against Gaddafi and never disarmed.

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