The Ministry of Defence in the Salvation Government has declared a state of emergency following today's helicopter shootdown. The ministry said in a statement that it will take the necessary measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.

For its part, the General Staff of the Libyan Army declared Wirshiffana region as a military zone and advised civilians to avoid it. It also called all revolutionary fighters to join their military units to expel the gangsters out of the region.  

Meanwhile, Al-Zawiya Municipality declared a three-day mourning in the city for the victims.   

Militants affiliated to the so-called Tribes Army, the armed wing of Dignity Operation in western Libya, targeted the helicopter with anti-aircraft fires off Al-Maya coast, leaving around 15 people onboard the helicopter dead. Debris found in the helicopter crash site shows signs of anti-aircraft shots.

The helicopter was carrying senior military leaders and civilians in addition to cash to some of the banks in Al-Zawiya, Surman and Sobratha.

10 bodies have been recovered so far, reports say.

Spokesperson of Dignity Operation Mohammed Al-Hijazi claimed responsibility for the helicopter shootdown.

Residents of Al-Zawiya, Sobratha and Zuwara have begun using boats and helicopters as means of transport to Tripoli following the handover of the highway from Tripoli to Al-Zawiya to the Tribes Army as per an agreement with Misrata's Al-Halboos, Al-Mahjoob and Al-Mirdas brigades.