A fighter loyal to Khalifa Haftar walks across a street holding his weapon and smoking a cigarette in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on December 16, 2014
A fighter loyal to Khalifa Haftar walks across a street holding his weapon and smoking a cigarette in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on December 16, 2014 © Abdullah Doma - AFP/File
A fighter loyal to Khalifa Haftar walks across a street holding his weapon and smoking a cigarette in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on December 16, 2014
AFP
Last updated: December 23, 2014

Clashes in Libya's Benghazi kill 16 pro-government forces

Banner Icon Clashes on Monday between pro-government forces and Islamist militiamen in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi killed 16 people and wounded dozens, security sources and medics said.

Forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar and to internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani have been battling for weeks against Islamists who have taken control of much of Libya's second city, and the capital Tripoli.

The Benghazi Medical Centre said it received the bodies of seven people and 35 wounded in the clashes, while Al-Jala hospital said it took in four bodies and 25 wounded.

Medical sources said the casualties were all from Haftar's ranks and pro-government forces.

Islamist militias rarely report their casualties.

The fighting raged in southern and central Benghazi, security sources said.

Farther east, in the Islamist stronghold of Derna, five soldiers were killed on Monday when gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the city's western suburb of Dahr el-Ahmar, a military spokesman said.

Earlier this month the Islamists staged a military parade in Derna with tanks and combatants carrying black flags.

Three years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a NATO-backed revolt, Libya is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and run by rival governments and parliaments.

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