A Libyan passenger plane carrying at least 150 passengers was shot at as it prepared to land at Tripoli airport, but sustained no major damage, airline sources have said.
The Buraq Air Boeing 737 was near the capital’s airport when the incident occurred on Wednesday evening. It was not immediately clear whether it was accidental fire or an attack.
“As the plane prepared to land at Tripoli airport, it was hit on the bottom, in the lavatory at the front of the plane,” a Buraq Air source told Reuters news agency. “The plane landed safely afterwards.”
“People started to panic inside and one woman was later taken to hospital to be treated for shock,” they said, adding that the airline had temporarily suspended flights to and from Tripoli.
“We do not know exactly what happened but we believe this was accidental fire. Security at the airport has been stepped up and so far nothing suspicious has been found,” another source from the airline added.
The plane was flying to Tripoli from the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Clashes broke out between rival Libyan militias at Tripoli’s international airport in June last year, after gunmen drove armed pickup trucks onto the tarmac and surrounded planes, forcing the airport to cancel flights.