Haftar's Libyan militia clash with rival factions in Benghazi

Haftar's Libyan militia clash with rival factions in Benghazi
General Haftar Khalifa's self-styled Libyan National Army clashed with the last pockets of resistance in Eastern Libya's largest city as a power struggle continues to ravage the country.
2 min read
23 July, 2017
General Haftar declared Benghazi's 'liberation' earlier in July [AFP]

Forces loyal to General Haftar Khalifa, known as the Libyan National Army, clashed with rival armed groups in the port city of Benghazi amid the militia's continued assertion of control over the country's second most populous city.

The LNA killed six troops and wounded eight, a commander said on Saturday.

"Special forces carried out an attack on Friday on the last resistance pockets of terrorism in Khraibeesh area and successfully the forces advanced and controlled several points," LNA commander Mari El-Houti said.

LNA forces also carried out airstrikes on rival groups in Derna, local witnesses told Reuters.

Haftar's LNA, which has set itself against the UN-backed government in Tripoli and Islamist groups, has emerged as a powerful force in Libya's current power struggle.

A former Gaddafi ally, Haftar has received backing from Egypt and the UAE, who have diverged from a broader international consensus backing the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Sarraj's government has struggled to assert its authority over Libya and its prized oil assets, despite international backing.

General Haftar declared Benghazi's "liberation" earlier this month after winning a number of victories over rival groups in the city.

Street-to-street fighting continues within the coastal city, however, particularly from an alliance of former rebels and Islamists known as the Majlis Shura Thuwar Benghazi.