Libyan gov't forces arrest 5 rival military personnel off western coast
TRIPOLI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Forces of the UN-backed Libyan government said on Wednesday that they arrested five military personnel of the east-based army off the western coast, as the armed conflict continues between the two rivals.
The five military personnel, a colonel, a captain and three non-commissioned officers, were arrested on Tuesday on a rubber boat off Sabratha coast, about 70 km west of the capital Tripoli, by a government patrol vessel, according to a statement by the government forces.
"Those arrested had a rocket-propelled grenade and a machine gun," the statement said.
Since early April, the Libyan government has been engaged in an armed conflict against the army which is trying to take over Tripoli and overthrow the government.
The fighting so far has killed more than 1,000 people, injured more than 5,700 others, and forced over 120,000 to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organization.
The army is allied with the east-based government, as the North African nation is politically divided between eastern and western governments.
Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.