Tripoli’s international airport is back in the hands of Libya’s civilian authorities after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally mark the reopening of the terminal.
Revolutionary fighters had seized control of the airport a day before they captured the entire capital on August 23. Transitional government forces have now handed it back.
“After they liberated this important location, they are handing it over to the technical people who will now take care of organising flights from this important place,” said NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil
The international airport is not yet open for business. It is hoped it will be operating by the end of this month. Reports indicate an agreement has been reached for one location to be handed back each week.
In Sirte, NTC fighters claim they have Gaddafi loyalists surrounded in the centre of the deposed leader’s hometown.
Earlier they raised their flag over the Ougadougou Convention Centre. The intense fighting has raised concerns for the civilians who are trying to flee.
Analysts have warned that the protracted battle and civilian casualties could breed long-term hostility and make it hard for the NTC to unite the country once the fighting is over.