Heavy bombardment in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday

TRIPOLI, (BM) – The bombardment of Libya’s capital Tripoli intensified on Friday, residents said, forcing the evacuation of some patients from a hospital near the capital’s only functioning airport, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Al Jazeera.

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Residents said the shelling was among the hardest since the two rival governments said they had agreed to a ceasefire in January, as blasts of artillery echoed in the city centre and black smoke billowed near Mitiga airport that is held by the government.

The fighting, between the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based leader Khalifa Haftar and the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, came as the United Nations tried to hold peace talks in Geneva.

The town council of Abu Salim, a Tripoli neighbourhood, posted pictures of damaged houses on Facebook, saying a woman and child had been taken to hospital.

Flights were also suspended once again on Friday at the only functioning airport in Libya’s capital following the rocket attacks.

Shelling of Mitiga airport has forced a suspension of flights for hours at a time on consecutive days this week and new damage to a hangar was visible after Friday’s bombardment.

The airport has come under frequent attacks by forces loyal to Haftar this month. It was hit by Grad missiles, GNA said in a statement on Thursday, in this week’s third attack by the Haftar militias.

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Since the overthrow of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA which enjoys UN and international recognition.

The GNA is also supported by Turkey and allied fighters it has brought from Syria.


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Editorial team / Al Jazeera