Armed brigade surrounds Tripoli airport

Libyan militia surrounded Tripoli's international airport on Monday.

Airport. Picture: Stock.xchnge

TRIPOLI - A Libyan militia surrounded Tripoli's international airport on Monday, forcing flights to be diverted to the capital's military airport, a security official said.

The official said the militia, called al-Awfea Brigade from the town of Tarhouna, 80km southeast of Tripoli, demanded the release of one of their leaders whom they said had disappeared last night.

"The situation in the airport is very tense and tanks are surrounding the buildings. No one is allowed into the building," said the official, who declined to be named.

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

The ruling National Transitional Council spokesman Mohammed al-Harizy said the Awfea head, Col. Abu Oegeila al-Hebeishi was kidnapped by unknown armed rebels while travelling between Tarhouna and Tripoli late last night.