Eastern Libyan forces said on Monday they would intensify an assault on Tripoli, the capital in the west of the country that is held by the internationally recognized government, as the death toll in a battle now in its third week rose to 254, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) force loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar allied to a parallel government in the east has launched an offensive but has been unable to breach the southern defenses of the city.
Forces loyal to Tripoli drove back the LNA in recent days the southern suburb of Ain Zara, the main scene of fighting, Reuters reporters visiting the area said, even though the LNA said it had launched air strikes on military sites in the capital.
LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari denied there had been a retreat but said an advance by his forces had slowed because of the dense population in the areas where fighting was taking place.
He told reporters the LNA was calling in reservists to open new fronts on Tripoli and said his army would use artillery and infantry in the next days. He gave no details.