Libya asks for overseas help to fight oil depot fire near Tripoli airport
The battle for control of the airport began two weeks ago when Islamist-led militias launched a surprise assault on the airport, which has been under control of a rival militia
Monday 28 July 2014
The Libyan government appealed for international help to put out a fire at a huge oil depot set off by clashes near the country’s Tripoli airport.
The interim government said in a statement posted on its website that the fighting between rival militias caused the huge blaze, which could trigger a “humanitarian and environmental disaster”.
It appealed for “international help” but did not specify what exactly the government wants the world to do.
Libyan TV stations called on residents to evacuate areas within a three-mile radius of the airport. Many Libyan families responded to the call and scrambled to leave their homes. Social networking sites posted images of black smoke billowing over the skyline.
The battle for control of the airport began two weeks ago when Islamist-led militias launched a surprise assault on the airport, which has been under control of a rival militia from the western mountain town of Zintan. The Health Ministry said on Sunday that the fighting has so far killed 79 people and wounded more than 400. On Saturday, the US evacuated its diplomats from Tripoli to Tunisia and shut its embassy. The UN Support Mission in Libya and the International Committee of the Red Cross have already withdrawn their staff as well.
Mohammed al-Harari, the spokesman for the Libyan National Oil Company, said the oil depot that was set on fire has a capacity of 6 million litres and that if the fire was not controlled, it could ignite nearby liquid gas storages.
READ MORE: Libyans’ war without end
Firefighting engines from several nearby cities and towns have been deployed to help extinguish the blaze, said a Libyan security official. The fire, which he claimed was now under control, had also destroyed several government and private cars in the area.
German embassy staff in Tripoli were evacuated on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli said in Berlin. They will be sent back “as soon as the security situation allows,” she said.
Germany had urged its citizens on Saturday to leave Libya immediately.
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...