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Tanker catches fire amid clashes in Libyan capital

Oil tanker catches fire amid clashes in Libyan capital, government appeals for help

FILE - In this Sunday, July 13, 2014 file image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli,...
In this Saturday, July 26, 2014 frame grab from video obtained from a freelance journalist traveling with the Misarata brigade, shows an airplane on t...

United States-Libya

FILE - In this Sunday, July 13, 2014 file image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli,...

Mideast Libya

In this Saturday, July 26, 2014 frame grab from video obtained from a freelance journalist traveling with the Misarata brigade, shows an airplane on t...

CAIRO (AP) -- The Libyan government is appealing for "international help" after several oil tankers caught fire amid clashes over the country's international airport in the capital, Tripoli.

In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the interim government says the fighting between rival militias caused the huge blaze, which could trigger a "humanitarian and environmental disaster."

Libyan TV stations are calling on residents to evacuate areas near the airport. Social networking sites posted images of billowing black smoke over Tripoli skyline.

The battle for control of the airport began two weeks ago when Islamist-led militias -- mostly from the western city of Misrata -- launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan.

The fighting has killed dozens of people.


Updated : 2021-04-14 00:19 GMT+08:00