An international rights group has accused warring militias in Libya of committing violations that amount to "war crimes" during a battle the past month for control over the capital's airport.

Human Rights Watch says in its Monday report that commanders of the militias from the coastal city of Misrata and mountain town of Zintan, along with their allies, risk "being first in line for possible sanctions and international prosecution."

The group's report pointed to attacks on civilian neighborhoods during the five-weeks of fighting that caused thousands to flee. The battle ended with the Islamist-allied Misrata militias seizing control of the airport and much of the capital. HRW accused the militias of further violations since the battle, including reprisals against civilians who back their rivals.