Jul 30, 10:18 AM EDT

Islamist leader backs fight to take Libya airport

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CAIRO (AP) -- The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Libya says an attack by militias on the capital's airport is a "legitimate" response to an offensive by a renegade general against Islamists.

The weeks-old battle for Tripoli's airport has killed dozens and nearly destroyed the facility. Shelling sparked a giant fire in nearby oil tanks that continues to rage out of control.

The comments by Mohammed Sawan to The Associated Press on Wednesday were a strong show of support for Islamist militias trying to wrest control of the airport from a rival militia.

Sawan said the assault was in response to a months-long offensive by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who has being trying to crush Islamist militias in Libya, mainly in the eastern city of Benghazi.

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