TRIPOLI, July 19 Flights have resumed from two
small airports in Libya triggering a rush of Libyans and
expatriates trying to leave the country on Saturday after
fighting closed the main international airport a week earlier.
Local carriers have resumed flights to neighbouring
countries from Tripoli's Mitiga airport, which is mainly used by
the military and oil firms, and another airport 210 km (130
miles) to the west in Misrata.
Flights out of Libya almost completely halted from Sunday
when rival militias turned Tripoli International Airport into a
battlefield with rockets hitting the runway, at least 20 planes
and the main terminal building. A few airlines continued to fly
from tiny airports in the east.
Tripoli International Airport remained closed on Saturday,
but flights took off from Mitiga bound for Egypt, Jordan and
More than hundred people packed the departure hall, trying
to check in or to buy a ticket that could be bought on the spot
in cash, airport officials and residents said.
The airport standoff is one of most serious between rival
militias in the three years since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya's weak government has proved unable to control
brigades of former rebel fighters who often battle for political
and economic power.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)