Supporters of Libya s eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar attend a rally marking the 71st anniversary of the country s independence from Italy in the eastern city of Benghazi on December 24, 2022. AFP
According to the reports and images on social media, pilot Amer al-Orfi al-Gajam was exchanged for 15 prisoners held by LNA, which back a rival government and control much of eastern and southern Libya.
The exchange took place in a LNA-controlled part of the Jufra region, near a ceasefire line between eastern and western forces.
Images on social media appeared to show Gajam, a high-ranking member of the LNA, with a long beard and dressed in a traditional Libyan tunic and vest.
The 2011 revolt that toppled Moamer Kadhafi's regime left a power vacuum that was filled by an array of armed groups.
LNA's east-based forces were among the most powerful groups that emerged in the aftermath.
In 2019, LNA seized large parts of the south and launched an assault on Tripoli.
In December that year, government forces said they had shot down a Russian-made MiG-23 fighter jet some 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of the capital, capturing its pilot Gajam.
LNA later announced that they had lost a MiG-23 due to a "technical fault" and that the pilot had been captured.
They made no immediate statement on the reported prisoner exchange.