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Libyan capital’s only functioning airport hit in air raid

Airstrikes hit the Libyan capital’s only functioning airport on Monday, authorities at the site have said, as fighting raged for control of the Tripoli between the government and a renegade general.

A security source at Mitiga airport, east of the city, said no side had yet claimed responsibility for the raid, which hit a runway without causing casualties.

There has been heavy fighting near Tripoli since the forces of military general Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Thursday aimed at seizing the capital from the Tripoli-based internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

On Monday, forces loyal to the GNA re-captured Tripoli International Airport from Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.

“GNA brigades managed to reassume control of the airport after it was briefly seized by pro-Haftar forces,” a government military source told Anadolu Agency.

The airport, which has not been in use since 2014, was captured by Haftar’s LNA two days earlier on 6 April.

The UN mission in Libya on Sunday called for a two-hour humanitarian pause in the fighting that appeared to have been ignored.

The health ministry in Tripoli said at least 21 people have been killed and 27 wounded in the fighting.

The offensive has raised fears of return to all-out war in Libya and left a question mark over the UN-led effort to lay the groundwork for elections with the 14 to 16 April conference.

Libya has struggled to counter unrest since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, leaving dozens of militia to fill the void and ally with either the GNA or a rival administration in the east backed by Haftar.

GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj on Saturday accused Haftar of betraying him and warned of a “war without a winner”.

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