The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Wednesday expressed concern over the escalation of violence and attacks between the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government continues.

Iran PressAfrica: The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said on Wednesday 15 April it was gravely concerned about reports of the sudden release of 401 prisoners and acts of retribution in west Libyan towns captured by forces of the internationally recognized government this week.

In Tripoli, heavy bombardment could be heard into the evening on Wednesday 15 April.

According to Reuters, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said it condemned LNA forces’ “indiscriminate bombardment of Tripoli with rockets, many of which have landed on civilian neighborhoods, resulting in casualties”.

It repeated calls for a humanitarian pause, at a time when the divided country is trying to contain its first cases of the new coronavirus.

The statement came after forces aligned with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) seized the towns of Surman and Sabratha on Monday, pushing back rivals loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

The capture of the coastal towns of Sorman and Sabratha and smaller settlements further south was seen as a major blow to Haftar. Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) have been trying to capture Tripoli for just over a year, escalating an on-off conflict between east and west Libyan factions.

Military commander Khalifa Haftar's forces, the largest of a series of militia and rebel groups in Libya, have been vying for control of the country with the internationally-recognized government based in the capital, advancing on Tripoli in recent months. 

Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power an elected parliament in the country's east, supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, headed by Fayez Sarraj.  

The Haftar-led LNA, supported for years by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and a number of Western countries, controls eastern Libya and has in recent months advanced toward the northern part of the country.

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