February 27, 2015 / 11:08 PM / 5 years ago

Libyan aircraft crashes near Tunisian border: state news agency

TUNIS (Reuters) - An aircraft from Libyan forces controlling Tripoli crashed near the Tunisian border and may have been shot down, Tunisia’s state news agency TAP reported on Friday.

The aircraft went down 5 kilometers from the frontier inside Libya, TAP said, but did not provide any further details. Libyan officials did not immediately confirm the incident.

Libya is embroiled in a battle between two rival governments and their armed forces; one an internationally recognized administration operating out of the east of the country, and the other, a faction that took over the capital Tripoli in the summer.

The forces allied with Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni’s recognized government and Tripoli’s armed forces have been conducting air strikes on each other. A jet from Tripoli’s forces this week attacked an airport in the western town of Zintan near the Tunisian border.

The United Nations is trying to negotiate a deal between the factions to form a unity government to stop the North African country’s slide into wider civil war, with Islamist militants increasingly using the chaos to gain a foothold in Libya.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Pat Markey; Editing by Toni Reinhold

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