At least 121 people have been killed and 561 wounded since Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) started its offensive on April 4, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Both sides have repeatedly carried out air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), for its part, estimates more than 15,000 people have been displaced so far, with a “significant number” of others stuck in live conflict zones.
Refugees and migrants trapped on the front line of fierce fighting in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, are pleading to be rescued from the war-torn country while being “surrounded by heavy weapons and militants”.
Hit by food and water shortages, detainees at the Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre on the southern outskirts of Tripoli, said they were “abandoned” on Saturday by fleeing guards, who allegedly told the estimated 728 people being held at the facility to fend for themselves.
The refugees and migrants used hidden phones to communicate and requested that their names not be published.
“[There are] no words to describe the fear of the women and children,” an Eritrean male detainee said on.
“We are afraid of [the] noise… fired from the air and the weapons. I feel that we are abandoned to our fate.”
Fighting rages on Tripoli outskirts
Tripoli’s southern outskirts have been engulfed by fighting since renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s eastern forces launched an assault on the capital earlier this month in a bid to wrestle control of the city from Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
The showdown threatens to further destabilize war-wracked Libya, which splintered into a patchwork of rival power bases following the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.