TRIPOLI - Rival armed factions battled overnight and into Friday in the worst outbreak of fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli for more than a year.
Black smoke rose into the sky and explosions reverberated around the Abu Salim and Hadba districts, and an eyewitness said a major road nearby had been blocked off with shipping containers. Gunfire echoed across several other neighbourhoods.
Tripoli is controlled by an array of armed groups which sporadically clash over territorial control or economic interests. Some groups have quasi-official status, but no government has succeeded in taming their power since the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi five years ago.
The violence is the latest setback for the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which arrived in the capital in March with the acquiescence of some powerful armed factions but has struggled to assert its authority.