27 July 2014

Libya: Dozens Killed in Heavy Clashes in Libya's Benghazi

More than 50 people have been killed in fighting in Libya since Saturday night.  Weeks of violence in Benghazi and the capital Tripoli have ... ( Resource: Foreigners Urged to Flee Libya Fighting

Dozens of people have been killed in heavy clashes between government forces and Islamist militants in the Libyan city of Benghazi. This comes a day after the US evacuated staff from its embassy in Tripoli.

Medical and security sources said at least 36 people had been killed in the eastern city of Benghazi in clashes between Libyan special forces and Islamist militants on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The AFP news agency cited a military source who said the latest fighting broke out when Islamist groups launched an assault on the headquarters of a special unit near the city center on Saturday.

There were also reports that 23 Egyptian workers had been killed when a rocket struck near their home in Tripoli during clashes between rival militias on Saturday.

US embassy evacuated

Also on Saturday, the United States evacuated staff from the country's embassy in Tripoli due to the deteriorating security situation in the Libyan capital. Diplomats and other embassy staff members were brought under a heavy military export across the border into neighboring Tunisia.

The US has been particularly wary of the security situation in Libya after the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Bengazhi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

However, a number of other countries have since issued new warnings to their citizens.

The foreign office in Berlin issued a statement on Sunday advising German citizens who are in Libya to leave, noting that the current situation in the country was "extremely confusing and unsafe." It also said that there were reasons to fear that German citizens could be exposed to a "significantly heightened threat of attack or abduction" in the country.

Libya's central government has never managed to impose control over the whole country since longtime strongman Muamar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011. The last two weeks, though, have seen the country's worst violence since the late leader's ouster.

(AFP, Reuters)

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