Rival militias turn Tripoli airport into battleground

Clashes between rival militias at Libya's main international airport have turned the main terminal building into a field hospital and damaged 11 passenger jets and the control tower.

At least 15 people have died in the past two days in the Libyan capital and Benghazi, where forces loyal to a former ally of Colonel Gaddafi attacked Islamist militia bases.

Cars at Tripoli airport have been destroyed by the clashes Credit: Reuters

The fighting has forced flights to be suspended and left Libya cut off from the rest of the world.

Tripoli's airport area is controlled by former fighters from the western town of Zintan, who have come under attack by rival militias in recent days.

Fighters stand outside the departures terminal at Tripoli's international airport Credit: Reuters

The battles have prompted the United Nations to evacuate its staff from Libya, where the government is struggling to maintain control over the country.

An official said that the control tower at the airport would need replacement equipment to be imported before it can re-open.