Four civilians were wounded by rocket fired by forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar against the Libyan capital’s sole functioning airport, the UN-recognised government said on Sunday.
The strikes coincided with the arrival of a Libyan plane inbound from the Saudi Arabia, which was carrying pilgrims on their way back from Mecca.
Three pilgrims, including a woman, were among four civilians wounded, said Wedad Abu Niran, a spokesman for the UN-recognised Government of National Accord’s health ministry.
Airport director Lotfi al-Tabib said Mitiga’s runway was damaged and a Libyan Airlines plane was hit by shrapnel, putting it out of service.
Flights have been suspended “until further notice”, Tabib added.
The Tripoli-based GNA controls the former military airbase east of the city, which has been used by civilian traffic since Tripoli international airport suffered severe damage during fighting in 2014.
In a statement, the GNA blamed what it called a “terrorist attack” on forces of Haftar and urged the international community to assume “its responsibilities concerning the protection of civilians”.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive on April 4 to conquer Tripoli.
The two sides have since been embroiled in a stalemate on the capital’s southern outskirts and Haftar’s forces have allegedly repeatedly targeted Mitiga, accusing the GNA of using it for “military ends”.
A similar strike on Mitiga killed a guard and wounded several security agents on August 15.