Libyan air controllers strike to protest against airport shelling

TRIPOLI Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:55pm EDT

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Air controllers in western Libya have gone on strike to protest against the shelling of Tripoli's main airport, halting flights in much of the oil producing country, an official said on Thursday.

The air controllers refused to go to work at the control tower in Tripoli, which regulates traffic for all of western Libya, a spokesman for the transport ministry said.

Authorities had closed Tripoli International Airport after a militia on Sunday attacked the airport area controlled by a rival militia, part of growing turmoil in the North African country.

On Wednesday, Libya reopened the western Misrata airport, which also had been closed after the airport attack, but it will have to close again due to the strike because Tripoli air controllers are also responsible for Misrata.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Ken Wills)

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