Diplomats say eight member countries of the U.N. Security Council have put a hold on Libya's request for dozens of fighter jets, tanks and other weapons the country says it urgently seeks to defend itself against the rising threat of the Islamic State.

Libya last week appealed to the 15-member council to lift or loosen a U.N. arms embargo on the oil-rich north African country, which has fractured into several militia groups and two rival governments.

Council members including the United States and Britain, and a U.N. panel of experts, worry that weapons given to Libya's Western-backed government risk falling into the wrong hands.

The government can ask a U.N. sanctions committee for exemptions to the arms embargo on a case-by-case basis. The countries placed the hold on the new request Monday.