Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya. Picture: Reuters/Hani Amara

Johannesburg – Libya's UN-backed government has announced a state of emergency in the capital, Tripoli, and its outskirts after several days of fierce fighting between rival armed militias, Al Jazeera reported.

At least 39 people, including civilians, have been killed in the fighting and nearly 100 others wounded.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi with two rival governments backed by various militias vying for control of the North African country.

Fighting erupted last week when the Seventh Brigade, or Kaniyat militia from Tarhouna a town 65km southeast of Tripoli, fought street battles with the Tripoli Revolutionaries' Brigades and the Nawasi, two of the capital's largest militias.

A fragile truce reached in coordination with the UN mission in Libya took effect on Thursday, but was quickly breached.

* Receive IOL's top stories via WhatsApp by sending your name to 0745573535.

African News Agency (ANA)