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Militia shells Tripoli airport

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 01:16

A militia shelled Tripoli airport, destroying 90 percent of planes parked there, a Libyan government spokesman says. Natalie Thomas reports.

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Fighting around Libya's main airport in Tripoli on Monday. Militia attacks have destroyed around 90 percent of the planes here, the government says. One solider described what happened. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SOLDIER AT BATTALION 423 AIRPORT SECURITY, ABDALRAMAH, SAYING: "There's been shooting with heavy weaponry since Saturday at 6am. Airplanes and private cars got hit." The onslaught comes as Libya slips deeper into chaos three years after colonel Gadaffi was ousted from power. A weak government and a new army have been unable to control brigades of former rebel fighters and militias who often battle for political and economic power. The UN has said it is pulling its staff out of the county as the deteriorating security situation makes it impossible for it to operate. Ahmed Lamin, the spokesman for the prime minister, says the latest developments mean the government may now seek outside help (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRIME MINISTER'S SPOKESMAN, AHMED LAMIN, SAYING: "There is now potential for an official request for international forces in order to establish the nation's capabilities, and assets as well as protect it's citizens. Preventing chaos, and disorder in order to give a chance for the nation to build its institutions, especially the army and police." With two of the country's other major airports already forced to close, Libya is finding itself increasingly isolated.

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Militia shells Tripoli airport

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 01:16

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