Families have begun fleeing Libya’s coastal city of Sirte after two days of clashes between so called ISIL militants and fighters loyal to a government based in Tripoli.
Food and fuel is said to be running short in the city and unconfirmed reports say the militants have kidnapped foreign medical staff.
Most of the families were heading west towards Misrata, a strong hold of the Libya Dawn armed group which backs the Tripoli administration.
The country’s been in turmoil since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, with rival militia groups in the east and west of Libya vying for power.
At the moment the only internationally recognised government is headed by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni who is based in the east.
ISIL militants have exploited the chaos between Thinni’s government and the Tripoli administration and on Sunday claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Misrata which has until now been largely spared the spreading violence.
In February, the militants released a video appearing to show the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped by them in Sirte.