Armed groups engaged in heavy fighting in Janan Atia district in Ajaylat town, some 80 kilometers west of Tripoli, on Wednesday, leaving a number of people dead and others wounded.

Local sources said the fighting first erupted between two families earlier this week, but later it intensified into heavy exchange of fire between armed groups supporting the warring families.

Many people fled their homes in panic while several buildings were damaged.

The reason of the clashes is not known, but some sources claimed it was a tribal dispute.

Ajaylat mayor Kamal Zayad said mediation efforts are being exerted to calm down the tension, demanding Tripoli-based ministries of interior and defense to intervene to stop the fighting.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya expressed concern over the deterioration of security situations in the town. It said in a statement, the fighting amounts to a war crime due to the use of medium and heavy weapons in densely populated areas.