Clashes in Libya’s Benghazi as Coup General Attacks Militias

Egyptian Warplanes Pound Major Eastern City

Another round of fighting broke out in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi today as troops loyal to former General Khalifa Hifter clashed with the Islamist militias in control of the city.

At least 13 people, including nine of the soldiers, were reported killed in the Wednesday fighting, though locals say the toll is very preliminary and could rise significantly.

Gen. Hifter, who tried to oust the previous parliament as “terrorists,” vowed yesterday to “liberate” Benghazi, while Ansar al-Sharia, one of the factions in the Shura Council that currently governs Benghazi, attacked one of the last of the Hifter bases on the city’s outskirts.

Libya has splintered along several lines, with most cities under the control of some militia or other, and the “parliament” confined to a tiny town along the Tunisian border. Hifter’s forces have vowed to take over the country, but so far they don’t appear to control much other than military bases.

Also backing Hifter is the Egyptian military junta, and Egyptian warplanes launched attacks on Benghazi today, with junta officials saying they have trained the Hifter forces to take Benghazi back from the Islamists.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.