Tripoli - Clashes between Libyan government forces and
Islamist-backed militiamen on Friday killed four militants, a security source said,
and one person died in a mortar attack on Tripoli's only functioning airport.
The fighting broke out when armed men launched an assault
on the edges of Aziziya, a town just 35km south of Tripoli, the source said.
Four people were killed and 11 wounded, the source told
Libya's capital was seized by the Islamist-backed Fajr
Libya ("Libya Dawn") group last August.
Fajr Libya is an alliance of militias, including
Islamists, who have installed a government in Tripoli opposed to the
internationally recognised legislature and cabinet based in the east.
The recognised government said two weeks ago that
loyalist forces had launched an offensive to "liberate" Tripoli and
its suburbs, and Fajr Libya reported that a group of gunmen had infiltrated
As Friday's fighting began, Tripoli's Mitiga airport was
hit by a mortar round that killed an airport employee, a source there told AFP,
adding that it was not known who fired the round.
"The mortar... struck a bus transporting three airport
employees, killing one and wounding another," the source said, adding that
an aircraft carrying medical equipment that was parked on the apron at the time
Mitiga is a military airfield now used by civilian
traffic also after Tripoli's international airport was seriously damaged in
last summer's battle for control of the capital.
It is the only airport still functioning in the city and
falls under the jurisdiction of the government installed by Fajr Libya last
Also on Friday, the Islamic State group claimed it was
behind bomb and mortar attacks on Fajr Libya south of the central city of Sirte
on the coast.
The claim came as Battalion 166, part of the Fajr Libya
alliance, said its forces had killed six ISIS members southeast of Sirte after
two of its men were wounded by mines planted by the jihadists in the area.
Libya has been mired in violence since the 2011 uprising
that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gadhafi, with rival militias battling
for the country's oil wealth and control of its cities.
IS has thrived on the chaos and gained a foothold in the
North African country.