By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 20 July 2014:
Fighting has restarted at Tripoli International Airport, breaking a two-day ceasefire, with shells almost raining down . . .[restrict]on it.
A nearby resident and Afriqiyah engineer confirmed to the Libya Herald that the fighting between Zintanis and Misranan-led forces resumed last night. He could not say for sure whether the Zintanis still held the airport but added that the shelling was heaviest “just behind the airport”, a reference to the village of Qasr Ben Ghashir which lies on Tripoli International’s northern most boundary.
A number of houses in Qasr Ben Ghashir took direct hits today. It is not known if anyone in the village was injured or killed, but there are reports of four fighters being killed.
The barrage of rocket fire could be heard across the capital and black plumes of smoke seen rising from where the fighting was taking place.
Hostilities at the airport began a week ago today, causing millions of dinars worth of damage and leaving dozens dead. The renewed attacks have ended a ceasefire brokered by Tripoli Municipal Council which was characterised by continuing clashes.
Five days ago the government raised the possibility of international intervention in the face of the violence. It is yet to respond to today’s renewed attacks.
Meanwhile, Libya’s telecoms company LTT has said that the continuing violence around the airport has resulted in internet services in Qasr Ben Ghashir and the area from the Brega fuel depot on the Airport Road to the airport being cut. LTT said that because of the shelling its maintenance teams could not go to fix the problem.