Violent clashes erupt near Libya's Gharyan
TRIPOLI, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Violent clashes on Monday broke out between Libya's UN-backed government forces and the eastern-based army near the city of Gharyan, some 80 km south of the capital Tripoli.
The eastern-based army's information office said that the clashes killed several soldiers and destroyed many armored vehicles of the UN-backed government forces, confirming that the army has taken over new positions near the city.
The eastern-based army is preparing to invade Gharyan, the information office said in a statement.
The UN-backed government has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict since early April in and around the capital Tripoli against the eastern-based army, which is trying to take over the city and overthrow the UN-backed government.
Later last month, the UN-backed government's forces took over Gharyan city and expelled the eastern-based army.
On Sunday, the army announced taking over new position near Gharyan after battles that killed 12 of the UN-backed government forces and injured more than 20 others.
The eastern-based army, led by Khalifa Haftar, is allied with the eastern-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 in 2011.