TRIPOLI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Heavy clashes erupted in southern Libya's Tripoli on Wednesday night and lasted until early Thursday morning between rival militias.
Media reports said the clashes were between two rival militias, one loyal to the United Nations-backed government of national accord and the other loyal to the government of national salvation which is trying to seize the city.
The Tripoli-based militia loyal to the unity government said "an outlawed armed group did an armed robbery to nine vehicles in the area."
Witnesses said heavy artillery was used and loud explosions could be heard from kilometers away.
Residents had to flee their homes to avoid the fighting. There were no official reports of casualties so far.
The government of national accord was appointed based on a UN-sponsored peace agreement signed by Libya's political rivals and replaced the government of national salvation, headed by Khalifa Gwell.
However, Gwell's government returned to Tripoli recently and took over some government buildings with the help of militias.
Libya has been in the grips of political crises and chronic insecurity since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.