Five Libyan troops killed by mortar

2015-06-20 15:36

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Benghazi - At least five Libyan troops were killed late on Friday when a mortar landed in the eastern city of Benghazi where pro-government forces have been fighting against a mix of Islamist militant brigades, a medical source said.

Benghazi is just one front in a complex conflict involving Libya's two rival governments and loose alliances of armed factions as well as Islamist militant forces taking advantage of the chaos to gain ground.

The source said at least 20 troops had been killed in fighting in June. LNA Mohamed Hejazi said their forces had been fighting in about six districts in the city.

Claimed attacks

"These militant groups have become individuals who are taking high buildings as posts. The militants have also booby-trapped all houses and streets," Hejazi said.

Army forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government have been fighting several Islamist groups in Libya's second-largest city as part of a wider struggle since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Fighters claiming allegiance to the Islamist State group holding parts of Iraq and Syria have also claimed attacks in Benghazi as that group looks to expand its foothold in Libya.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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