TRIPOLI, July 20 Heavy fighting has erupted
around Tripoli International Airport, where rival militias have
been battling for a week for control of the site, local
residents said on Sunday.
The fighting broke out just days after one powerful militia
said it was ready to put an end to heavy clashes that had
deepened fears the north African country is becoming a failed
There were no immediate reports of casualties from Sunday's
Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's
fragile government is failing to assert authority over heavily
armed brigades of former rebel fighters who have often clashed
over political and economic power.
The airport stand-off pits fighters from Zintan in the
northwest, who controlled the airport since the ousting of
Gaddafi, against armed groups tied to Misrata, a western coastal
town. Both are loosely allied with competing Islamist and
nationalist political factions.
The clashes have all but suspended international flights
from Libya, damaged more than a dozen planes parked there and
prompted the United Nations to pull its staff out of the North
African country because of security fears.
(Reporting by Firas Bosalum; writing by Patrick Markey; editing
by Tom Pfeiffer)