Libya’s government has condemned deadly attacks on the main airport in Tripoli, as rival militias battle it out for control.
Rebel forces from the northwestern region of Zintan have run the facility since helping to oust Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. They have now come under fire from rival rebels said to be from the western city of Misrata.
Government spokesman Ahmed Alamin said that authorities were demanding that the attackers “unconditionally and immediately stop military action” and that “both sides stop any aggression”.
He went on: “The government has ordered both the Ministry of Interior and the army to secure the capital’s streets and neighbourhoods as well as vital locations and installations. And it has declared a state of emergency within all hospitals and healthcare facilities.”
At least seven people were killed and more than 30 injured as flights were suspended in some of the worst violence seen in the Libyan capital for months.
Elsewhere, several people were killed in fighting between security forces and rival militias in Benghazi.
Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has slipped deep into chaos. The latest violence comes as it awaits the results of parliamentary elections.