Libya forces corner jihadists in Benghazi district

2017-07-06 06:05
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Benghazi - Forces loyal to east Libya strongman Khalifa Haftar said on Wednesday they have cornered the last jihadists in a neighbourhood of second city Benghazi and vowed that victory is "imminent".

The self-styled Libyan National Army said fighting in Soug al-Hout neighbourhood was over and its soldiers had advanced into the central district of Al-Sabri where they were surrounding the last jihadists.

LNA General Abdessalam al-Hassi told AFP the jihadists were cornered in a small part of Al-Sabri and coming under attack from air strikes as well as ground forces on three fronts.

Haftar's forces have retaken most of Benghazi since the eastern coastal city was overrun by jihadists in 2014.

Last week a medical source in the city said 44 LNA soldiers had been killed in June alone in Al-Sabri and Soug al-Hout.

Hassi said the "total liberation of Benghazi from jihadists is imminent".

A spokesperson for the LNA special forces, Colonel Miloud al-Zwei, said Haftar's forces were getting ready "to launch an assault on Al-Joumhouriya hospital and Al-Jarid market" in Al-Sabri.

Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Libya's veteran dictator Moammar Gaddafi, was overrun by several jihadist groups.

These include the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, an alliance of Islamist militias among them suspected members of the Islamic state group and the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  isis  |  moammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa
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