“Extremists controlling Darnah have confronted the Libyan army in Sidi Khaled district,” army spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told The Anadolu Agency.
For over two months, Libyan troops loyal to the Tobruk-based government have been laying siege to Darnah, a stronghold for several militias including ones which had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group.
Libya has been dogged by political instability since the 2011 ouster and death of long-ruling strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Ever since, rival militias have frequently locked horns, often bringing violence to Libya’s main cities, especially capital Tripoli and Benghazi.
The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each of which has its own institutions in Tripoli and Tobruk respectively.