Fighting in Libya’s Benghazi claims lives despite liberation claim
Fresh casualties have been reported from fighting in Libya’s Benghazi five months after the Libyan National Army (LNA) declared full liberation of the eastern city from militants.
A medical source said on Monday that clashes this month so far had left four dead and 10 others wounded from the LNA forces.
Reports said three from the dead were killed by snipers while one lost his life by a landmine as the LNA forces continue to battle militants in Khreibish, a district of Benghazi.
The LNA has also carried out airstrikes against the positions of militants in the area while daily clashes are reported on the ground.
LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced the end of a three-year battle against militants in Benghazi in early July. He said all militant groups and militias had been purged from the key Libyan city.
The LNA controls parts of Libya and is opposed to the internationally recognized government in the capital Tripoli.
Haftar, who has backing from some foreign powers, is trying to strengthen his position on the ground.
His struggle to retain eastern territories comes as other parts of Libya are still plagued with violence six years after the fall of former slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The LNA commander, who himself served as a general under Gaddafi, has been more supportive of a parallel administration in the city of Tobruk, in Libya’s fareast.
However, countries to the west of Libya in North Africa, including Algeria, oppose Haftar and see his rise as an obstacle in the way of international efforts to restore peace to Libya.