Rival militia clashes in Libya's Benghazi leave 24 dead

Rival militia clashes in Libya's Benghazi leave 24 dead

PanARMENIAN.Net - Fierce clashes in Libya killed 24 people on Friday, May 16, after a paramilitary force led by a former general attacked Islamist militias in Benghazi, BBC News reported.

Local media reported that government troops had also joined the attack against the Islamists. But acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni condemned the operation as "a coup against the revolution".

Libya's leaders have struggled to bring stability to the country since Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power in 2011. Benghazi, an eastern city that was at the heart of the anti-Gaddafi uprising, has been the scene of frequent clashes between the army and Islamist militias.

The force that carried out Friday's attack is under the command of former Libyan army colonel Khalifa Haftar. At least 24 people were reported to have died in the clashes and hospitals officials said more than 120 people had been wounded.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that an Islamist militia base was attacked by helicopters and warplanes.

But speaking at a news conference in Tripoli, acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni condemned the operation as illegal and an attempted coup.

Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
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