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14 dead, 30 wounded as militia, govt forces clash in Libya’s Benghazi (PHOTOS)

Published time: November 25, 2013 11:00
Edited time: November 26, 2013 03:55
Residents hide near a burning car during clashes between members of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia and a Libyan army special forces unit in the Ras Obeida area in Benghazi November 25, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

Residents hide near a burning car during clashes between members of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia and a Libyan army special forces unit in the Ras Obeida area in Benghazi November 25, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

Clashes between the Libyan army and Islamist militia have killed up to fourteen people and injured dozens in Benghazi, said the Libyan Ministry of Health. A state of alert has been declared in the city and people have been advised to stay in their homes.

Violence erupted early on Monday in Benghazi when the Libyan army attempted to pursue a suspect into a neighborhood where militant group Ansar al-Sharia is known to operate. The group in question was blamed for the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi last September that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"A violent clash has been taking place for several hours between our forces and an Ansar al-Sharia cell," Colonel Milud al-Zwei, spokesman for Libya's Special Forces, told AFP. Zwei said Libyan law enforcement came under attack near Ansar al-Sharia headquarters.

“The army retaliated, sparking clashes with all types of weapons,” he said.

The Libyan government has warned that a “red line” was not to be crossed and soldiers have been ordered to report to barracks across the city.

Libya is still struggling to control militia groups that participated in the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011.

On November 15, 46 people were killed in the Libyan capital when members of a militia group opened fire on peaceful protesters. The demonstrators were calling for militia groups to leave the city, chanting the slogan "We want an army, we want police." In response to the violence, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan urged all armed militias to leave the city of Tripoli following skirmishes between protesters and militiamen.

A resident, in support of the Libyan army, fires a weapon towards members of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia during clashes between the group and a Libyan army special forces unit in the Ras Obeida area in Benghazi November 25, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

Violence in Libya stems from government’s inability to bring together various militia groups, editor at the Pan-African News Wire Abayomi Azikiwe told RT. "There has been a problem associated with brining together the various militia groups and many of them claim that they fought during the war regime change in 2011. But many of them are motivated by sectional interests, by criminal activity and we have seen the fruits of this over the last weeks both in the capital of Tripoli as well as in Benghazi," he said. 

"In Benghazi the latest fighting indicates that there is strong resistance on the part of many of these militia groups into consolidating their forces inside what they claim to be the national army that the Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is working trying to construct during this time period."

A member of the Libyan army runs with a weapon during clashes between members of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia and a Libyan army special forces unit in the Ras Obeida area in Benghazi November 25, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

People flee from shooting during clashes between members of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia and a Libyan army special forces unit in the Ras Obeida area in Benghazi November 25, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)


Comments (11)

 

somos no 27.11.2013 02:27

Why call islamist group if they are REBELDS ...

 

StepStone 25.11.2013 22:37

An example of Democracy vs Dictatorship. It is just beginning, we are going to see more.

 

RichardD 25.11.2013 17:51

The NATO UNSC P3 doesn't care how good of a job that a government using a different political system does, which is why China is vulnerable, and so is an independent Russia. They want hegemony not competition. International law is meaningless them, they view it as a double standard that they're exempt from, while holding governments targeted for regime change to a discriminatory and stringent compliance under it, while they violate it with impunity. They would rather destroy a nation like they've done with Libya, than not have control of it and have to compete on an equal basis within international law with it.

View all comments (11)
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