Contemporary combating has flared close to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, between pro-government forces and insurgent fighters from the east of the nation.
Reviews say insurgent forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar are in three areas close to the outskirts of the town.
Tripoli is the bottom of the UN-backed and internationally recognised authorities.
The UN’s Libya envoy has insisted that a deliberate convention on doable new elections will nonetheless go forward.
Why is Libya so lawless?
Who’s army strongman Khalifa Haftar?
UN troops within the capital have been positioned on excessive alert.
Libya has been torn by violence and political instability since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.
What’s occurring on the bottom?
Normal Haftar – who was appointed chief of the Libyan Nationwide Military (LNA) underneath an earlier UN-backed administration – ordered his forces to advance on Tripoli on Thursday, as UN Secretary Normal Antonio Guterres was within the metropolis to debate the continued disaster.
They’ve been combating in a number of areas, together with close to the disused worldwide airport south of Tripoli.
The LNA mentioned it had been focused by air strikes to the south of Tripoli by a airplane that had taken off from Misrata. Professional-government forces in Tripoli mentioned they’d launched “intensive strikes”.
Gen Haftar spoke to Mr Guterres in Benghazi on Friday, and reportedly informed him that his operation wouldn’t cease till his troops had defeated “terrorism”.
Tripoli residents have begun stocking up on meals and gasoline, AFP reported.
LNA troops seized the south of Libya and its oil fields earlier this 12 months.
What’s been the response?
The G7 group of main industrial nations has urged all events “to right away halt all army exercise”. The UN Safety council has issued the same name.
Russia has additionally referred to as on events within the escalating battle to seek out an settlement.
Talking in Egypt, Russian overseas minister Sergei Lavrov additionally warned in opposition to what he referred to as overseas meddling in Libya.
Russia and Egypt have supplied help to Gen Haftar.
UN envoy Ghassan Salame mentioned on Saturday that the convention deliberate for 14-16 April would nonetheless be held in time, regardless of the escalation – “until compelling circumstances drive us to not”.
Hope dashed for a political decision?
By Sebastian Usher, BBC Arab affairs editor
It is nonetheless unclear how a lot this can be a present of drive to bolster Gen Haftar’s place or a real effort to grab Tripoli.
He returned throughout the revolution and he is subsequently grow to be essentially the most highly effective army chief in a rustic rife with militias, allied to a rival authorities within the east.
Regardless of the refrain of worldwide concern over his actions, he has had help from highly effective exterior gamers, together with the UAE and Egypt.
Efforts in direction of a political decision for Libya have foundered time after time. The newest hopes might as soon as once more have been dashed.
Who’s Khalifa Haftar?
Born in 1943, the previous military officer helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seize energy in 1969 earlier than falling out with him and going into exile within the US. He returned in 2011 after the rebellion in opposition to Gaddafi started and have become a insurgent commander.
In December Haftar met Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj from the UN-backed authorities at a convention however refused to attend official talks.
He visited Saudi Arabia final week, the place he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks.