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At Least 13 Killed in Ongoing Battle for Benghazi

  • VOA News

A fighter with forces led by renegade former Libyan general Khalifa Haftar stands by the body of an Ansar al-Shariah militiaman killed during clashes in Benghazi Oct. 15, 2014.

A fighter with forces led by renegade former Libyan general Khalifa Haftar stands by the body of an Ansar al-Shariah militiaman killed during clashes in Benghazi Oct. 15, 2014.

The battle for control of the east Libyan port of Benghazi has killed at least 13 more people, a day after a renegade former general who supports the Libyan army vowed to retake the city from Islamist militants.

On Wednesday in Benghazi, armed citizens and forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar clashed with members of an alliance of Islamic militia groups.

Fighters from one Islamist group, Ansar al-Sharia, attacked a Libyan army tank battalion at one of the few remaining government controlled bases in the city. Later, aircraft belonging to Haftar hit suspected Islamist positions.

Haftar declared war on the Islamists in May, but without much success. The army has lost control of several camps and is facing an assault on Benghazi airport, the last bastion of government presence in the city.

Ansar al-Sharia is the Islamist group Washington blames for the 2012 attack on its consulate in Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

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