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Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

Islamists seize key Benghazi army base
An Islamist and jihadist alliance announced the capture on Tuesday of the main military base in the eastern city in a statement which was confirmed by an army official. He said jihadists of Ansar al-Sharia, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, were among the groups.

Intense fighting in Benghazi for the past week has claimed about 60 lives since Saturday, medical officials in the city said. ‘Special forces under the command of (Colonel) Wanis Abu Khamada withdrew after several attacks,’ said the army official after the biggest loss yet for the armed forces in its fight against the country’s powerful militias.

The special forces are one of the units of Libya’s regular armed forces that support rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar but have not placed themselves under his command.

Haftar began his offensive against radical Islamist groups in Benghazi, dubbed ‘Operation Dignity’, in mid-May. On its Facebook page Ansar al-Sharia published photos of dozens of weapons and crates of ammunition it claimed to have seized.
Agencies

Agencies

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