Libya militia hands Tripoli airport control to govt

April 20, 2012 20:32

TRIPOLI - The Libyan government took control of Tripoli's international airport on Friday from the militia that has run it since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed last year, an important step in its struggle to assert its authority over numerous armed groups.

The ruling National Transitional Council now faces the challenge of showing it can maintain security and operate the North African country's busiest airport, which reopened last November in the hands of the powerful Zintan militia.

"Tripoli airport is now under the government's control. We have today transferred power to the interior, defense and transportation ministries," Zintan militia spokesman Adel Salama said in a speech at the handover ceremony.

"We hope the government is able to take on and maintain such an important task."

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