Heavy fighting erupts near the Libyan capital's airport as rival militias battle for control. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Rival militias clashed in the area around the Tripoli Airport road on Sunday (August 17).
Heavy fighting erupted on Saturday near the capital's international airport and different residential areas where rival forces have been battling for control, forcing thousands from their homes after the new United Nations special envoy said he planned to visit Tripoli as early as next week to try to broker a ceasefire.
Gunfire and shelling with Grad rockets and artillery guns could be heard from the early morning near the airport and several residential parts of Tripoli.
The forces known as the Libya dawn operations took over an army camp know as "General Staff Camp" and the headquarters of the Equestrian Club behind it, pushing rival Qaqaa and Sawaaq Brigades out.
The battles, which involve brigades of former rebels who once fought Gaddafi together, have forced the United Nations and Western governments to evacuate their diplomats, fearing Libya is sliding into civil war.
Most of the fighting has raged over the international airport in Tripoli, which fighters from the western town of Zintan have controlled since sweeping into the capital during the 2011 war.
Libya's fragile government still has no national army and often put former rebels on the state payroll as semi-official security forces as a way to co-opt them into the new state.
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