Clashes erupted in Libya’s capital Tripoli on Tuesday between armed groups loyal to Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and rival leader Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed as premier by the Tobruk-based parliament.
Bashagha reached the capital overnight to take control of the government from Dbeibeh, who has refused to hand over power.
However, a security source told Anadolu Agency that Bashagha was forced to leave the capital after fierce clashes were reported between the two sides.
Fighting has been reported in the al-Mansoura and Souq al-Thulatha areas in central Tripoli.
Khaled al-Mishri, the head of Libya’s High Council of State, condemned the violence and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Libya Stephanie Williams, for her part, called for immediate calm and restraint.
"I urge restraint and insist on the absolute necessity of refraining from provocative actions, including inflammatory rhetoric, participation in clashes and the mobilization of forces," she tweeted.
Williams went on to assert that dialogue is the only exit to the ongoing crisis.
"Conflict cannot be solved with violence, but with dialogue and mediation, and to this end, the good offices of the United Nations remain available to all parties who believe in helping Libya find a genuine, consensual way forward towards stability and elections," she said.