x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tunisia suspends Tripoli flights after runway drama

Tunisian airlines have suspended flights to Libya's capital Tripoli after armed men swarmed the runway and stopped a plane from taking off, a company official said yesterday.

TUNIS // Tunisian airlines have suspended flights to Libya's capital Tripoli after armed men swarmed the runway and stopped a plane from taking off, a company official said yesterday.

Flights were suspended until "an improvement in the security conditions", said Soulafa Mokaddem, a spokeswoman for Tunisair. Flight to Benghazi will continue, she said.

On Saturday afternoon, a TunisAir flight leaving from Tripoli's military airport of Maitiga carrying 50 wounded Libyans to be treated in Tunisia was stopped by 300 armed men, Tunisia's state news agency, TAP, said.

The fighters from the nearby suburb of Souq Jumaa stopped the plane from taking off and attempted to board the aircraft as a way of pressuring the government to investigate a recent attack on their comrades, the agency said, quoting a Tunisian diplomat in Libya.