Toll in Libya clashes rises to 75

Nine more people were killed in violent clashes in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi between the renegade general Khalifa Hafter's forces and Islamic militants, taking the total toll to 75, medical sources said Monday.

IANS| Updated: Oct 20, 2014, 21:38 PM IST

Tripoli: Nine more people were killed in violent clashes in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi between the renegade general Khalifa Hafter's forces and Islamic militants, taking the total toll to 75, medical sources said Monday.

A security source said the crossfiring was concentrated in Benghazi's Laithi, Boatni and Al-Masakin regions, Xinhua reported.

On Sunday evening, the Islamist militants mounted a bomb attack on Haftar's house, killing a passerby. The pro-secular general was not at the scene.

The Benghazi Medical Centre said that it had received eight more bodies, including those of two soldiers.

Haftar, who played a major role in toppling Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been waging a war on Benghazi's Islamist armed groups since May. He recently claimed that he would ally with Libya's regular army and local insurgents to "liberate" Benghazi.

Media reported that Haftar's manoeuvre was Sunday authorised by the Libyan government and his forces were fighting alongside the national troops.

Libya has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence after the 2011 turmoil that ousted and killed Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Islamist militants and pro-secular militia have been vying for cities and towns for months, and fighting keeps flaring up near Tripoli, Benghazi and Gharyan.