Libyan Islamist militias fight retired general

Tripoli, Oct 27 (IANS/EFE) Fighting in eastern Libya continues between Islamist militias and troops of retired General Khalifa Hafter, who launched an offensive to regain control of the city of Benghazi 12 days ago.

Fierce fighting between both sides has claimed the lives of at least 112 people since then, medical sources in Benghazi told Efe news agency.
A Benghazi police source said Islamists of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries had seized the city’s university complex, where fighters of Hafter’s “Militia 21″ group sought refuge in the female students’ dorms.
Meanwhile, calm has returned to the Benghazi district of Al Sabri, where the Islamists Saturday attacked Hafter’s forces.
The fighting has moved now to the town of Al Rajma (15.5 miles east of Benghazi), the same source said.
“The army continues military operations against Islamist activists, our forces have gotten into some neighbourhoods in the city of Benghazi”, spokesman for the Libyan Army, Ahmad al Mismari, told Efe.
Twenty members of the new Libyan parliament (Tobruk House of Representatives) Saturday visited Benghazi, where they witnessed the destruction in government buildings and neighbourhoods, said MP Eissa al-Arabi.
Armed citizens support Hafter’s forces, which also have the backing of the new parliament and government recognised by the international community.
The Islamists have been controlling Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, since last July.
–IANS/EFE
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