Libyan special forces killed in assault on rebel-held Benghazi

Libyan special forces killed in assault on rebel-held Benghazi
Libya's internationally recognised government offensive against militias in Benghazi ended in more bloodshed on Tuesday, when a homemade bomb killed five members of an elite army division.
2 min read
02 September, 2015
Forces loyal to the Tobruk government continued their assault on Benghazi yesterday [AFP]

A homemade bomb killed five members of Libya's special forces in Benghazi on Tuesday, as the Torbuk-government continues its assault on the rebel-held eastern city continues. 

"Two commanders... and three soldiers were killed today," army spokesman Miloud Zouai was quoted as saying.

Zouai added that the troops were advancing in a southern district of the city when the explosion occurred.

On Monday, an officer of the Tobruk force was killed by a mine in Benghazi, and three others were wounded.

Tanks from the Tobruk force attempted to advance on the west of the city on Sunday, resulting and heavy fighting resulted in four Libyan soldiers killed.

The Tobruk government lost control of Benghazi a year ago and has been trying to recapture the eastern city.

It has been the site of regular fighting between forces loyal to the government and armed Islamist groups since its fall to the rebels.

Artillery and air raids on the city have been inaccurate and resulted in civilian deaths and the destruction of large parts of Benghazi.

Libya descended into lawlessness following the overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi following popular protests - and then a bloody civil war - in 2011.

The country has two parliaments and two government's vying for control of the country.

Bernadino Leon, the UN's special envoy for Libya, is trying to strike a deal between the two parties.

He has been holding talks with leaders of the Tripoli and Tobruk governments in the Turkish city of Istanbul and Geneva in Switzerland, and noted "tangible results" had been achieved.

Leon is hoping the two sides will agree to a unity government, and although previous attempts to foster agreements have been met with failure.

However, the UN envoy now believes a deal can be reached in the coming weeks.