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Tripoli's main airport suspends flights after shelling


Jan. 22, 2020

The resumption of shelling on Mitiga put a recent cease-fire brokered earlier this month by Russia and Turkey on shaky ground, as diplomatic efforts to halt the long-running civil war intensify.
It was not immediately clear who launched the attack, but suspicion fell on Gen. Khalifa Hifter's eastern-based forces, which have been laying siege to the capital for months in a bid to wrest authority from the U.N.-backed government.
Hifter's offensive on Tripoli has threatened to plunge Libya into chaos rivaling the 2011 conflict that ousted and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
On Sunday, world powers with interests in the conflict convened at a peace summit in Berlin, where they pledged to halt foreign interference, honor a widely violated arms embargo and support a U.N.-facilitated political process.
Mitiga airport, as the sole landing strip for the Tripoli-based administration, represents a strategic target for Libya's eastern forces. It is often caught in the cross-hairs as Libya's dueling governments and feuding militias battle for control of the capital.
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