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Militia surrounds airport in Libyan capital

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 4 June 2012
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Militia surrounds airport in Libyan capital, 4 June 2012, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

June 04, 2012

Security and airport officials say a Libyan militia group has surrounded Tripoli's international airport, forcing flights to be diverted to the capital's military airport.

An unnamed official told Reuters that the militia, called the Al-Awfea Brigade from the town of Tarhouna, 80 kilometers southeast of Tripoli, demanded the release of one of their leaders whom they claimed disappeared overnight.

An airport customs official said flights were canceled and incoming planes were diverted to Tripoli's Mitiga Airport.

A spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council, Mohammed al-Harizy, said the Al-Awfea head, Colonel Abu Oegeila al-Hebeishi, was kidnapped by unknown armed men while traveling between Tarhouna and Tripoli late on June 3.

The incident is the latest in a series of events where former Libyan rebels have either fought each other or stormed government offices to press for their demands.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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