Libyan Militia Seizes Tripoli Airport

Fighting breaks out after standoff
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2012 1:01 PM CDT
Former rebel fighters rest inside a car at a checkpoint between Tarhouna and Bani Walid in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

(Newser) – Fighting has broken out between rival militias at the Tripoli airport, witnesses tell Reuters, following a standoff in which one of the militias seized control of the facility. Militia fighters had earlier surrounded the airport, demanding the release of one of their detained leaders. The airport was forced to close, and the government eventually agreed to release the leader.

But hours later the leader hadn't been released, and the militants hadn't left. Local journalists tell CNN that militia members had evacuated the terminal, escorting passengers to cars. Now other witnesses tell Reuters that they've heard gunfire inside, and seen men going in with rocket-propelled grenades. (Read more Libya stories.)

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