4 Libyan soldiers killed in new battle with Islamist fighters

2015-08-31 13:14
File: AP

File: AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Benghazi - Four Libyan soldiers were killed and six wounded in fresh fighting with Islamist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, medics and military officials said.

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government have been fighting Islamist groups in the country's second-largest city Benghazi since last year, part of a wider struggle since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

A tank battalion fought with Islamist brigades which had been trying to advance in the west of Benghazi, military officials said. Fighting raged until late in the evening.

Army forces backed by armed residents have regained some areas in Benghazi lost last year. But critics say their outdated war planes and helicopters lacking precision guns have damaged parts of the city without gaining much on the ground.

There was also fighting on Sunday between army units loyal to the official government and Islamic State outside the city of Derna to the east of Benghazi.

Political, regional and tribal lines

The air force flew a strike against Islamic State positions outside Derna, said a military spokesman. Both sides also clashed with ground forces in the same area.

Islamic State started this month an offensive to try retake Derna after a rival Islamist group had expelled it in June. Army forces are based outside Derna but have not tried to take the city, a jihadi hotspot.

The fighting on several fronts highlights the chaos in Libya, where armed groups back two governments vying for control. The official prime minister has been based in the east since the capital, Tripoli, was seized by a rival group which set up its own government.

Both sides command loose coalitions of former anti-Gaddafi rebels which have split along political, regional and tribal lines.

Islamic State has exploited the chaos by taking over several places, executing foreigners and launching attacks against embassies in Tripoli.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.