At least 28 people were killed and dozens injured in an air strike on a military school in the Libyan capital Tripoli, a ministry spokesman said.
“An air raid on the military school of Tripoli killed 28 cadets and injured dozens more,” Amin al-Hashemi, spokesman for the health ministry of the Government of National Accord (GNA) said.
At the time of the strike on Saturday the cadets were gathered on a parade ground before going to their dormitories, he added.
The military school is in al-Hadba al-Khadra, a residential sector of the Libyan capital.
The southern part of Tripoli has seen fierce fighting since last April, when military strongman Khalifa Hifter began an offensive against the GNA.
Libya was plunged into chaos with the toppling and killing of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 Nato-backed uprising. It has since become divided between the GNA and rival authorities based in the country’s east.
GNA forces accused those loyal to Hifter of the strike, posting photos of the victims and the wounded on Facebook.
However, pro-Hifter forces have not claimed responsibility for the attack.
More than 280 civilians and more than 2,000 fighters have been killed since the start of Hifter’s assault on Tripoli, according to the United Nations.
The fighting has also displaced some 146,000 people.
While Hifter’s LNA and the eastern government enjoy the support of France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and other key Arab countries, the Tripoli-based government is backed by Turkey, Italy and Qatar.
There has been an increase in air strikes and shelling around Tripoli in recent weeks, with fears that fighting could escalate further after Turkey’s parliament voted to allow a troop deployment in support of the GNA.
On Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres renewed his call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, warning that the delivery of foreign support to warring parties would “only deepen the ongoing conflict and further complicate efforts to reach a peaceful and comprehensive political solution”.
Libya’s eastern-based parliament, which relocated from Tripoli in 2014 as the country split into rival camps in Tripoli and the east, voted to provide Hifter with emergency funding on Saturday.
The pro-Hifter chamber also held a series of symbolic votes against the GNA and Turkey, which struck two pacts on maritime boundaries and military cooperation in November.