4 January 2018

Libya: Over 160 Libyan Soldiers Killed in Benghazi in 2017 - Official

Tripoli — More than 160 soldiers of Libyan eastern-based army were killed in 2017 during military operations against terrorist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi, according to a military official.

"Special forces lost 161 martyrs of duty, including 68 killed by landmines planted by terrorist groups in the city," Milud Al-Zwai, spokesman of the army's special forces, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, "200 soldiers were injured, of whom 45 were injured by the landmines," Al-Zwai added.

The army announced on Thursday taking control of the whole area of Sidi Ekhrebish in central Benghazi, the last terrorist stronghold in the city, after operations that lasted more than five months. Dozens of extremists fled after the army forces took control of the area.

Benghazi, Libya's second largest city and the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi, has witnessed a three-year war between the army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar and extremist militants.

In June, Haftar announced the takeover of the entire city of Benghazi and the defeat of rival armed groups. However, some militants have remained in the city, using landmines against his army.

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