Forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of Libya say they have captured a key strategic town from General Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.
Troops loyal to the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Serraj said they overran the town of Gharyan, about 62 miles south of Tripoli, on Wednesday.
The town was the main staging post for Gen Haftar’s assault on the Libyan capital and its loss could mark a turning point in the two-month battle for control of it.
Colonel Mohamed Gnono, a spokesman for the GNA said: “I officially confirm that all of Gharyan is under our control.”
“The operation was carried out with the least losses and in less than 24 hours,” he added in comments carried by the Associated Press. He said the operation had been helped by some local people.
Gen Haftar’s forces on Thursday denied that the GNA had taken full control of Gharyan and claimed fighting was ongoing.