It is estimated that at least 20 members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) were killed and 40 injured in two days of fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi, a hospital official said on Wednesday.
The clashes come as the LNA, a the dominant military force in the country's eastern province, tightens its grip on the port and attempts to dislodge the ISIS affiliated forces it has been battling for more than two years.
Led by Khalifa Haftar,e LNA has advanced in Benghazi but still faces pockets of resistance. On Monday, it launched a fresh offensive in the Guwarsha and Ganfouda districts, carrying out air strikes and saying it had made some progress in ground fighting. War planes were heard over Benghazi on Wednesday morning, and ambulances ferrying casualties raced through the streets. Roads were shut leading to western parts of the city where clashes were continuing.
At least seven militants were killed in Guwarsha on Wednesday, military spokesman Fadel al-Hassi said. Earlier casualty figures for the LNA's opponents were not available.
On Tuesday, a car bombing near a vegetable market at the eastern entrance to the city left 14 wounded, a second hospital official said.
Haftar has become the dominant figure for factions based in eastern Libya. So far, they have opposed a government backed by the United Nations that arrived in Tripoli in March.
From being Africa's wealthiest and most socially advanced nation Libya slid into the political turmoil of a failed state with a multifaceted civil war in progress after long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled five years ago in a regime change operation led by the three main western military power, USA, France and UK (the FUKUS axis) whose bombs and missiles reduced cities and towns to rubble while Islamic terrorist proxies were used on the ground . In 2014, rival parliaments and governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya, both backed by loose alliances of armed groups.
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