The gunmen have cut off the main pipeline to Libya's besieged capital Tripoli, which spelled more misery for residents already reeling from weeks of fighting, residents and officials said.
Armed men on Sunday hit a station of the Great Man Made River Project, a pipeline network that transports groundwater from the Sahara to the western region of the country, the project says.
"Pumping from water wells has stopped after an armed group stormed the plants and forced the workers to close all flow valves and stop the water well," the statement said.
The Eastern Forces of Khalifa Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA) launched an attack on Tripoli in early April and are located in southern suburbs by warriors loyal to the UN-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.
In previous attacks on the pipeline, which was one of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi's few development projects, it has taken up to two days for households to notice water shortages in the coastal city of 2.5 million people.
Tripoli delivers suspended government The government said the water supply would be restored when the attacker's claims had been met without specifying what they were.
Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed, who reported from Tripoli, confirmed that the water supply to the capital and the surrounding areas had been suspended, saying that people now had to rely on private water supplies to meet their daily needs.
The Tripoli government owed a group that also cut water supplies in 201
LNA refused it and Ehnaish could not be reached on Monday.  Maria Ribeiro, t he UN's humanitarian coordinator for Libya condemned the dismissal in a statement Monday and said "such attacks against civilian infrastructure … may be considered war crimes." 1/2. @UN Humanitarian Coordinator for #Libya Maria Ribeiro strongly condemns the blockage of the great man-made river and cut off #water delivery to hundreds of thousands of Libyans. Full statement: https://t.co/xeCYQqNJMn pic.twitter.com/hZ7dXgodF4
– UNSMIL (@UNSMILibya) May 20, 2019
Struggling in the fight for Tripoli, which began last A month has killed at least 510 people and injured nearly 2,500, forced 75,000 out of their homes, captured thousands of immigrants in detention centers and flat some southern suburbs, according to the United Nations.
It has also forced the closure of schools, split families on different sides of the front line and brought power savings.
The conflict is one of the most serious flare-ups this year of chaos since 2011 toppling Gaddafi and has sharpened Gulf divisions over Libya.
Al Jazeera and news agencies