News from Libya
Fighters at Tripoli’s main airport, June 4 (Photo: Akhbar Al Alaan TV, J. Moussa)
The international airport of the Libyan capital of Tripoli has been under the control of fighters who support former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahiriya government for several hours on Monday afternoon. Flights have been diverted to Metiga air base in the city’s center after the fighters stormed the airport “with heavy machine guns and armored vehicles”.
According to Reuters, the fighters are members of the Al-Awfea Brigade from the town of Tarhouna who demand the release of one of their leaders, Colonel Abu Oegeila al-Hebeishi, whom they said had disappeared on Monday night after being kidnapped by armed rebels while travelling between Tarhouna and Tripoli.
“The situation in the airport is very tense and tanks are surrounding the buildings. No one is allowed into the building,” an anonymous source told Reuters.
Reports say that several hours later and “after negotiations” the fighters agreed to withdraw from the airport.
Situated 80 km southeast of Tripoli, the town of Tarhourna and its largest tribe, also called Tarhouna, have continued to be loyal to the leader of the Libyan Al-Fateh Revolution and the concept of the free Jamahiriya, and therefore are a target of the western-backed rebels who started an armed revolt against the Jamahiriya government in February 2011.
Only this year, armed Al Qaeda gangs have been responsible for the death of hundreds of tribe members in the south of Libya where the so-called Green Resistance keeps fighting against these NATO-led terrorists who have destroyed and destabilized the country, killing tens of thousands of its civilians.