Libya authorities close Tripoli’s only airport over safety

September 17, 2018 GMT

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libyan authorities have closed the capital Tripoli’s only functioning airport, diverting traffic to another one at the nearby militia-controlled city of Misrata.

The Monday move came after the U.N.-backed Tripoli government handed control of the facility from one militia to another, prompting the Transport Ministry to order its closure on security concerns.

Deputy Transport Minister Hisham Boushkiwat called the closing of Mitiga airport “unfortunate” but said that in the past “some things inside the airport have threatened traveler safety.”

He underlined ongoing nearby militia conflict in the capital as another reason behind the closure, but added that he hoped the airport would be reopened soon.

The airport has been closed in the past, including last week when it was attacked by missiles of an unknown provenance.