Runways 'destroyed' at Libya’s Benina International Airport

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An aerial shot of Benina International Airport

The runways at Benina International Airport in Benghazi, Libya have been destroyed according to an Egyptian government minister. Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the runways had been destroyed during the violence that is currently taking place. Protests have spread to Tripoli as Muammar Gaddafi has made no signs of stepping down from his 35-year rule as leader of Libya.

Aboul Gheit told media at a news conference "Regarding east of Libya, the Benghazi airport runways have been destroyed. It is not possible for Egyptair flights or any other flights to land in that airport." He added "If Egyptians need to leave, and I always advise [them] to stay home, then they would have to travel to Egyptian borders by land some 500km in proximity to danger. Such trips must be in groups and in buses."

Egypt is currently awaiting permission to land at Tripoli Airport. Aboul Gheit compared the situation to the evacuation of Egyptian nationals from Iraq in 1991 during the outbreak of the Iraq war. Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands have all sent transport planes to bring their nationals back home.