At least 21 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in clashes between rival tribes west of Libya s capital that coincided with a visit by the UN chief, hospital sources said Sunday.
Witnesses said nationalist militia from the hill town of Zintan, southwest of Tripoli, attacked the neighbouring town of Kekla which supports their Islamist-led Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) rivals.
The clashes on Saturday and Sunday left 21 people dead and more than 60 wounded, officials at a local hospital said, without specifying if they were civilians or fighters.
The latest violence came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Tripoli on Saturday and urged warring factions to end the turmoil gripping Libya since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled in a 2011 uprising.
Let me be clear: if violent confrontations do not cease immediately, if sustainable peace is not restored, prosperity and a better life will be a distant dream, Ban told rival parliamentarians.
He flew to Tripoli just weeks after the outgoing government admitted from its safe refuge at Tobruk in the east that it had in effect lost control of the capital to armed militias.
Ban urged the formation of a national unity cabinet, stressing the importance of a strong government able to implement decisions in the country where militias control swathes of territory, including the main cities.
There is no alternative to dialogue, Ban said.
Parliament, elected in June, is recognised by the international community but contested by Fajr Libya and by Islamists who control much of second city Benghazi.
Fajr Libya, a coalition mostly of militias from third city Misrata, expelled Zintan fighters from the capital in August after several weeks of deadly clashes, with much of the violence focused on the international airport.
After seizing control of Tripoli, Fajr Libya has extended its operations to the west, to the Warshefana region which supports the Zintanis, charging that diehard Kadhafi loyalists are holed up there.
The UN refugee agency said on Friday that clashes between rival militias had driven an estimated 287,000 people from their homes, including about 100,000 who have fled the outskirts of the capital.