Eight fighters allied to Libya’s internationally recognised government were killed in air strikes as rival eastern forces stepped up an offensive to retake a strategic city south of Tripoli, officials said.
Ten more members of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces were wounded spokesman Mustafa Majae said and the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) took control of “some military points” near Gharyan, south of the capital.
“Our forces are still fighting to repel them,” Majae told Reuters.
The city council said Gharyan had been under attack from drone air strikes since Sunday.
The LNA, which took control of the country’s east in 2017, lost Gharyan at the end of June, after making the city its main forward base for an offensive on Tripoli.
That offensive was launched in April, hindering efforts by a UN Mission to hold a national conference with a view to national elections.
The LNA has not advanced beyond Tripoli’s southern suburbs and the front line has not changed significantly for weeks.
Gharyan mayor Yousef Ibderi told local TV channels casualties were from air strikes targeting GNA forces at the southern outskirts of the city.
The LNA said three areas adjacent to Gharyan were under their control and they destroyed Kornet missiles and 12 armoured vehicles.