PH warns vs travel to Libya in wake of airport bombings

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2019 06:27 PM

A member of the Libyan internationally recognized government forces is seen during a fight with Eastern forces, in southern Tripoli, Libya, June 22, 2019. Yosri al-Jamal, Reuters


MANILA - The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli on Saturday warned Filipinos against travel to war-stricken Libya, in wake of bombings at its capital's sole functioning airport.

"(We) would like to advise members of the Filipino community who are planning to travel abroad or to other parts of Libya about the risks they would be exposing themselves to as a result of the almost daily shelling of the Mitiga International Airport," the Philippine Embassy said in a statement.

"The incidents of shelling during the past several days have not only resulted in the suspension of flight operations, but have also endangered the lives of hundreds of civilians using the only functioning airport in Tripoli for inbound and outbound travel."

Mitiga International Airport suspended flights last August 4 due to an air raid claimed by strongman Khalifa Haftar's forces, after fighting broke out between the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) and government forces in April.

Haftar launched an offensive to take Tripoli, seat of the rival Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognized by the international community.

Over the past three months, the strongman's LNA has repeatedly targeted the airport.

"Filipinos flying to and from Mitiga are advised to take these factors into consideration when making their travel plans," the Embassy said.

The foreign affairs department earlier raised Alert Level 4 in Libya, which calls for a mandatory evacuation of Filipinos, while the labor department has ordered a total ban on the deployment of workers there. 

A total of 99 Filipinos have been repatriated so far from the conflict-stricken nation. - With reports from Agence France Presse