The UN-backed Libyan government has accused the rival eastern-based army of attacking its forces in Sirte city.
Spokesman of the Libyan government forces, Mohamed Gonono, said in a statement on Thursday that the eastern-based army fired 12 rockets at its positions in west of Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli.
“The Operations Command awaits instructions of the Supreme Commander to deal with and respond to the fire sources at the right place and time,” the statement said.
However, the eastern-based army denied the attack.
The accusation comes a day after the Government of National Accord (GNA) alleged that the eastern-based killed and arrested civilians in Sirte, and called on international mediators, mainly the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), to “document these criminal acts and consider them efforts to foil the democratic peaceful settlement to the Libyan crisis”.
Last week, the UN-backed Prime Minister, Fayez Serraj, and Speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, issued statements calling for a ceasefire in the country, reopening of the country’s oilfields and ports, holding elections, and making Sirte and Jufra district demilitarized zone.
However, the eastern-based army said that Serraj’s initiative was merely “media marketing”, accusing the UN-backed government of preparing to attack its units in Sirte.
The GNA also condemned Tuesday’s halting of the elections in the southern town of Traghen, some 780 km south of Tripoli, by an armed group affiliated to the eastern-based army.
The UNSMIL said it was dismayed by the halting of the scheduled elections in Traghen, and reminded all parties in Libya of their obligations to act in accordance with international law and called on them to protect democratic processes across the country.
The GNA had been engaged in a deadly armed conflict against the eastern-based army, which is allied with the House of Representatives, for more than a year over control of Tripoli, before his government recently took over all of western Libya.