At least 12 people have been killed after a helicopter carrying the commanders of the Tripoli-based government is shot down by rival militants, security sources say.
The Libyan News Agency (LANA) said the crash took place near the town of Zawiya, located about 45 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital, Tripoli.
The news agency is close to the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni based in the eastern city of Bayda.
A spokesman for the Tripoli government’s chief of staff said the helicopter was targeted anti-aircraft missile while on its way back to the capital, adding that the chopper crashed into the sea near al-Maya.
The helicopter was transporting 23 people, according to LANA.
Libya has been struggling for stability since 2011 with armed groups and regional factions engaging in a conflict. The country is currently plagued by a conflict between two governments and their allied militants.
The capital, Tripoli, is controlled by a faction allied to powerful armed forces based in the city of Misrata. The faction has reinstated the previous parliament in the capital.
The internationally-recognized government of al-Thinni, meanwhile, is based in Bayda, with its elected House of Representatives based in Tobruk.
The UN has called for a political deal between the rival political groups, which it says is the “real alternative” to end insecurity in the North African country.
Source: Press TV