The self-styled Libyan National Army says it has been advancing to retake a strategic town near Tripoli from militias allied with a U.N.-supported but weak government based in the country’s capital.
The force, led by Khalifa Hifter, says it advanced to wrest control of Gharyan late on Monday, capturing areas adjunct to the town. Gharyan is located around 100 kilometers, or 62 miles from the capital.
The Tripoli militias had pushed Hifter’s forces from Gharyan in June, cutting off their key supply route.
Hifter’s forces launched an offensive in April to take Tripoli and the months-long fighting has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of people.
The fighting threatens to plunge Libya into another bout of violence on the scale of the 2011 conflict that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi