Libyan authorities regained control of Tripoli international airport after a militia earlier seized the tarmac and grounded flights.
Clashes broke out when the National Transitional Council which oversees a collection of brigades made up of former rebels, ordered them to retake the airport.
After negotiations failed, the council-led forces many from the town of Zintan flooded the airport arresting up to 40 gunmen.
Members of the al-Awfea Brigade had taken the airport demanding the release of their leader believed held by Tripoli security.
Several international flights were cancelled and boarded passengers told to disembark while other flights were diverted to Tripoli’s military airport.
The violence is the latest between disgruntled militias and yet another challenge to Libya’s new rulers who are struggling to assert control over an array of former rebel fighters who refuse to lay down their arms.