Libyan militants seize army base in Benghazi
The Libyan government is struggling to control rival militias who refuse to lay down arms. (AFP/File)
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Militant groups have seized the headquarters of the Libyan army’s special forces in the volatile city of Benghazi after several days of fighting.
Military officials and the militants made the announcement on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, militants said in a statement that the main military base in the city was captured.
According to military officials and residents, special forces troops had to abandon their main camp in southeastern Benghazi after coming under attack from a coalition of former rebels.
“We have withdrawn from the army base after heavy shelling,” Saiqa Special Forces official Fadel Al-Hassi said.
Medical sources say at least 30 people were in Benghazi during heavy clashes involving warplanes and rockets between the special forces and the militants.
Also on Tuesday, a Libyan fighter jet crashed in Benghazi.
Nearly three years after the fall of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a popular uprising in October 2011, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups that refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.