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Libya’s UN-backed government says Haftar forces hit Tripoli airport

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The forces of Libyan Commander, Khalifa Haftar, on Wednesday attacked the only operational airport in the capital Tripoli in a breach of a shaky ceasefire, a military spokesman for the rival UN-backed government, Mohamed Gnounou, said.

The official added, in an online statement, that six rockets struck Mitiga airport in central Tripoli.

“This is a blatant threat to air navigation and marks a new and repeated violation of the ceasefire,’’ he said.

A ceasefire, called by Russia and Turkey, has been in effect since Jan. 12, in and around Tripoli, the target of a months-long campaign by Haftar’s forces.

However, both sides have since traded accusations of breaches.

The attack comes amid global efforts to turn the ceasefire between Libya’s warring sides into a durable truce.

On Sunday, international leaders gathered in Berlin and vowed to uphold a UN arms embargo and end military support for Libya’s warring factions in an attempt to halt the country’s long-running conflict.

However, at the Berlin conference, world powers also agreed to set up an International Follow-Up Committee, which is scheduled to meet for the first time in the German capital in February.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces.

The oil-rich country has two competing administrations, the Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli and supported by the UN, and the Haftar-allied government based in the Eastern city of Tobruk.

In April, Haftar ordered his eastern-based forces to seize Tripoli from the rival GNA.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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