By Shane McGinley
Dubai carrier halts flights to Libyan capital amid escalating violence that has left at least 223 dead
Dubai’s Emirates Airline has suspended scheduled flights to the Libyan capital of Tripoli as civil unrest continues to engulf the North African country.
“Due to the continuing unrest in Libya, flights will no longer go via Tripoli until further notice,” an Emirates Airline spokesperson said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
“Emirates will operate some flights direct to Tunisia, others will be cancelled. Passengers will not be accepted for flights into Tripoli from any airport until further notice.”
Emirates, one of the Arab world's largest carriers, also flies to the Libyan city of Benghazi.
Libya’s security forces have cracked down on demonstrators, with fighting now spreading to Tripoli after erupting in Libya's oil-producing east last week.
Human Rights Watch says at least 233 people have been killed in five days of violence.
Oil giants BP and Shell on Monday suspended operations in the country, evacuating staff and their families.
Amman-based Royal Jordanian on Monday confirmed it had halted flights to the city of Benghazi – where clashes first erupted five days ago – but was still operating flights to Tripoli in a bid to evacuate Jordanians caught in the violence.
State-backed Qatar Airways, which also operates flights to Tripoli, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.