Shootouts and blasts erupt in Libyan capital

STORY: The clashes took place in Tripoli's city center after one of the capital's strongest groups assaulted the base of a rival force, witnesses said, leading to hours of shooting that terrified locals and raised fears of a wider escalation.

The Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) and a rival administration backed by the eastern-based parliament traded accusations over the clashes, with fears growing among many Libyans of a wider conflict over Libya's political standoff.

At least two people, a man and a woman, have been killed in the fighting according to medical sources.

Pictures and video shared online of the city center, which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed military vehicles speeding through the streets, fighters shooting and local residents trying to douse fires.

There was no immediate comment from the interior and health ministries about the fighting, which paused in the morning before resuming. Tripoli university said it was suspending classes because of the fighting.