UN chief Antonio Guterres pushed on Friday to avoid a military escalation in Libya, meeting commander Khalifa Haftar a day after his troops launched an offensive to take the capital Tripoli.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that it feared outbreaks of infectious diseases due to dirty water and people fleeing fighting nearing Tripoli, where it has about two weeks of emergency supplies for hospitals and health facilities.
Eastern Libyan forces bogged down in street battles in a push to seize the capital Tripoli deployed warplanes on Friday to hit two government positions as more civilians fled fighting. The Libyan National Army (LNA) force of Khalifa Haftar advanced on the coastal city of about 1.2 million people a week ago in the latest conflict of a cycle of anarchy since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammer Qadhafi.
Eastern Libyan forces will pursue their advance on the capital Tripoli, the head of the eastern parliament in the divided country said on Saturday, despite international calls for a halt in an offensive that risks causing many civilian casualties.
The UN chief warned Libya is on the brink of “a very dangerous situation” as forces loyal to the internationally recognised government and a rival commander battle for control of the capital.
With more than 560 people wounded since the fighting started on April 4, the WHO said it was sending more medical supplies and staff to Tripoli.
"Thousands of people have fled their homes, while others are trapped in conflict areas. Hospitals inside and outside (Tripoli) are receiving daily casualties," the United Nations health agency said in a statement.
The United States called on Sunday for an immediate halt to military operations in Libya as the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Haftar advanced on the capital, Tripoli.
The fast increasing deployment of forces could potentially result in significant population displacement, the report said.