Fighting between forces loyal to Libya’s elected government and a loose alliance of Islamist and regional militias has killed nearly 400 people across the country in the past three weeks, a medical official and a militia commander said on Wednesday.

The worst turmoil since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown by a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 has left the country bitterly divided, with the internationally-recognized government confined to the town of Tobruk in the far east and an Islamist-dominated rival government in the capital Tripoli.

In the mountainous town of Kikla to the south of Tripoli local armed youth supporting the Tripoli militias have been clashing with government-allied forces mainly hailing from the western town of Zintan. […]