Despite a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to urge warring factions to enter dialogue, at least 23 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in clashes southwest of the Libyan capital over the weekend, hospital sources said on Sunday.
Witnesses said nationalist militia from the hilltown of Zintan, attacked their Islamist-led Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) rivals in the neighbouring town of Kikla, 120km from Tripoli.
The clashes on Saturday and Sunday left 23 people dead and more than 40 wounded, officials at a local hospital told news agencies.
Emad Khalifa Abdul-Salam of Gharyan hospital, south of the capital Tripoli, told AP that an intense battle continued on Sunday in Kikla.
Fajr Libya, an alliance of groups including fighters from the Western city of Misrata, routed the Zintan militia from parts of Tripoli, including the city's international airport, in August.
Fajr Libya has since been expanding its military operations to areas it says harbour the Zintan and other militias allied to supporters of Libya's former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
While Tripoli's new rulers have established an Islamist-led parliament and government in the capital, the internationally recognized authorities fled to the east of the country.
On a surprise visit to Tripoli on Saturday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for dialogue to end the fighting and supported ongoing talks in the southern city of Ghadames.
Militias from Misrata and Zintan, however, are not taking part in the peace negotiations.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)
Date created : 2014-10-12