Gunfire and blasts echoed through Libya’s capital yesterday as eastern forces fought troops of the internationally recognised government in southern Tripoli suburbs, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar advanced on the coastal city a week ago in the latest conflict of a cycle of anarchy since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
But armed groups, GNA, which is loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj have so far kept them at bay, with fierce fighting round a disused former airport about 11 km (7 miles) from the centre.
A week of battles has killed 75 people - mainly fighters but also 17 civilians - and wounded another 323, according to latest UN tallies. Some 9,500 people have also been forced out of their homes.
As the sound of fighting echoed round their city, residents sought to maintain some normality yesterday.
Some families were having breakfast in cafes next to the fish market where people were stocking up for the weekend.