Libya, a major oil producer in North Africa, has been mired in conflict since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
It is now split between two rival administrations: the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and the eastern-based House of Representatives allied with renegade commander Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).
Forces fighting for Libya's internationally recognised government said they regained full control over Tripoli and areas around the capital after being besieged for more than a year by militias loyal to the LNA.
The UN-recognised government said it launched an offensive on Saturday to seize the strategic city of Sirte, as Haftar and his Egyptian allies proposed a ceasefire following a string of military setbacks.
In the past months, forces loyal to GNA have wrested control of most of western Libya and parts of southeastern areas near Tripoli. On Friday, it captured the city of Tarhuna west of Tripoli and a day later entered the key town of Bani Walid in the country's northwest after Haftar forces retreated.
Sirte, the hometown of former leader Gaddafi and the last major settlement before the traditional boundary between Libya's west and east, was taken by General Haftar's forces virtually without a fight in January after one of Libya's myriad local militias switched sides.
Beyond Sirte, located 450km (280 miles) east of Tripoli, lies the prize of Libya's main oil export ports, Haftar's most important strategic asset.
[Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera]
Source: Al Jazeera