75 Bodies, Mostly Libyan Soldiers, Found After Benghazi Firefight

Mediators Try to Calm Fighting in Tripoli, as Civil War Grows

Yesterday a faction of Islamist militias overran a key military base in Benghazi. The death toll is larger than anyone imagined, with previous reports suggesting most of the troops had managed to flee when the fight turned against them.

Today the two-day fight was over, and at least 75 bodies were found at the scene, most of them military fighters loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who is trying to set up a military junta in the nation.

Gen. Hifter has vowed to “cleanse” the nation of Islamist factions, and had been attacking Benghazi off and on for weeks. Ultimately, the Benghazi Shura Council, an umbrella group of the targeted factions, seems to have turned the tables.

That’s just one of many battles going on in Libya, with various militia faction fighting over control of the Tripoli airport, with shelling and rocket fire non-stop for weeks. The strikes slowed today, as mediators tried to calm the situation, but a key energy depot in south Tripoli remains ablaze from the fighting, with the government waiting for Italy to send forces to try to get the fire under control.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.