Toll rises as clashes continue in Libyan city

Medics say toll of last five days has reached 75 as pro- and anti-government militias battle for control of Benghazi.

    Nine people have been killed in new violence in the northeastern Libyan city of Benghazi where pro-government militias have launched an offensive against rival armed groups.

    According to medics, the death toll has now reached 75 in five days.

    In the latest violence, a woman was killed in a bomb attack that targeted the vacant house of former General Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the pro-government militias, a military source said.

    The woman was walking past the house with her daughter, who was wounded in the bombing, the Benghazi Medical Centre said, adding that it had also received the bodies of eight other people including two soldiers.

    Fierce fighting raged in several parts of Libya's second city between pro-government forces led by Haftar and conservative militias, the AFP news agency reported.

    Air raids carried out by units of the air force loyal to Haftar targeted rival militia positions.

    Dozens of people have been killed in Benghazi in fighting between the Dawn of Libya, an alliance of militias that has declared a rival government in Tripoli, and forces led by Haftar.

    On the diplomatic front, the US joined the UK, France, Germany and Italy on Saturday in calling for an "immediate" end to the unrest.

    The European powers and the US said they were "concerned" by the operations carried out by Haftar, who called on the civilians to take up arms despite having the backing of the army.

    Since a 2011 revolution that toppled Libya's longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, interim authorities have failed to establish a regular army and had to rely on state-backed militias.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.