An armed group on Thursday attacked a major air base in southern Libya controlled by eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar who has moved much of his forces north to try take the capital Tripoli, officials said.
Fighting was continuing at the Tamanhint base near Sabha, the main city in southern Libya, Sabha Mayor Hamid Rafaa al-Khiyali and an eastern military official said, without giving more details.
The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear.
The base is Haftar’s main air base in southern Libya, which his Libyan National Army (LNA) force seized earlier this year, though tribesmen with flexible loyalties remain strong in the sparsely populated desert region.
Haftar, who is allied to a parallel government based in the east, started an offensive two weeks ago on Tripoli, which is held by the internationally recognized government, increasing the chaos that has plagued the oil producing nation since 2011.
The fighting in Tripoli has killed some 205 people, including 18 civilians, and wounded 913, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
(This story has been refiled to correct title of mayor in second paragraph.)