Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fierce Fighting Kills 36 in Benghazi Libyan Special Forces and Islamist Militants Battle; French Nationals Told to Leave

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fierce Fighting Kills 36 in Benghazi Libyan Special Forces and Islamist Militants Battle; French Nationals Told to Leave

Article excerpt

BENGHAZI - At least 36 people were killed in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, where Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants clashed Saturday night and Sunday morning, medical and security sources said.

The government said more than 150 people have died, many of them civilian, in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in two weeks of fighting as clashes forced U.S. and foreign diplomats to pull out of the country.

France on Sunday called on all French nationals to leave Libya.

"All our nationals are invited to get in touch as quickly as possible with our embassy in Tripoli," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The United States evacuated its embassy in Libya on Saturday, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia under heavy military escort after escalating clashes near the embassy compound in Tripoli.

In Tripoli, 23 people, all Egyptian workers, were killed when a rocket hit their home on Saturday during fighting between rival militias battling over the city's main airport, the Egyptian state news agency reported.

Since the clashes erupted a fortnight ago, 94 people have died in the capital, and more than 400 have been injured as militias exchanged rocket and artillery fire across southern Tripoli, the health ministry said.

Another 55 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Benghazi since the clashes have intensified over the last week between regular forces and Islamist militants who are entrenched in the city.

"Most of the victims we have noticed are civilians as the fighters have their own hospitals on the battlefield," a Benghazi medical source told Reuters.

Fuel storage tanks that supply Tripoli were hit Sunday by rockets igniting a huge fire near the international airport, the National oil corporation (NOC) said.

"It is a tank of 6 million liters of gasoline and it is close to others containing gas and diesel," NOC spokesman Mohamed al- Alharari said. "The firefighters are trying to counter the fire but if they cannot, a big disaster will happen," he added.

In the past two weeks, Libya has descended into its deadliest violence since the 2011 war that ousted Moammar Gadhafi, with the central government unable to impose order. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.