Clashes erupt between rival Libyan militia in Tripoli

Clashes erupted in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday between forces allied to the UN-backed government, headed by Fayez Serraj, and a rival militia loyal to a former government.

According to residents, sounds of gunshots were heard in Abu Selim neighbourhood, central Tripoli, as well as by the road to the airport earlier Friday, until it stopped shortly after.

Residents said that clashes continued for three hours adding that black smoke was seen between the Abu Selim and al-Hadaba areas.

Clashes between rival militias erupt regularly as former rulers refuse to acknowledge Serraj. Efforts to reach a ceasefire have all fallen apart.

Libya descended into chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Muammar  Gaddafi.

The North African country has since been awash with rival armed militias and weapons.

Libya is also split up among three rival governments: two in Tripoli and the third in the eastern city of Tobruk.