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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

20 Libya troops killed in clashes with militants in Benghazi: Informed source

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:22PM

At least 20 members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) have lost their lives over the past two days as they engaged in clashes with militants in the port city of Benghazi, an informed source says.

The unnamed hospital official said on Wednesday that the clashes also left 40 other LNA troops wounded.

The LNA, a force led by controversial Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, is loyal to the country's eastern government based in Tobruk.

The LNA troops launched a fresh offensive involving air raids and ground operations in Benghazi's Guwarsha and Ganfouda districts on Monday.

Military spokesman Fadel al-Hassi said at least seven militants were killed in Guwarsha only on Wednesday.

A car bomb also exploded close to a market at the eastern entrance to Benghazi on Tuesday, leaving 14 people injured.

Libya has been dominated by violence since a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. Rival governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya back in 2014.

Last December, however, the two administrations agreed on forming the Government of National Accord (GNA) after months of UN-brokered talks. The presidential council of the GNA arrived in Tripoli in March in a bid to restore order to the oil-rich North African country.

Haftar has refused to profess allegiance to the internationally-recognized GNA and his forces have been fighting militants in Benghazi since 2014.

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