Dozens dead in Benghazi as fighting rages

Dozens dead in Benghazi as fighting rages
Medics on Sunday announced that 75 people had been killed in the previous five days, as General Haftar's forces continue their advance on Islamist groups.
2 min read
20 October, 2014
Dozens have died in Benghazi as fighting continues (AFP/Getty)

Continuing violence has left 75 people dead in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi after five days of fighting, medics said on Sunday. Fierce fighting persists between forces led by former General Khalifa Haftar, and Islamist militias who were largely in control of the city before Haftar's advances. 

Haftar's troops, which have the support of Libya's internationally recognised government, was backed by airstrikes against Islamist positions by the country's air force.

Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed three years ago on Monday, towards the end of a revolution against his 40 year rule. The North African country has suffered from fractious infighting in the years since.

Libya's neighbours, Egypt and Sudan, have said that their countries would work together to support Libya's military against the largely Islamist anti-government militias.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi spoke of supporting the Libyan people's "free choices", referring to elections held earlier this year in which the Tobruk-based parliament was elected.

Egypt is widely suspected of having participated in airstrikes against anti-government targets in Libya in the past month.

The Libyan government has meanwhile accused Sudan of arming opposition militias, declaring Sudan's military attache in Libya persona non grata in early September. However, in the meeting with Sisi, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir said that his country "sees eye to eye" with Egypt on bilateral and regional issues.