The Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia has declared Benghazi an ‘Islamic Emirate’ after claiming to have taken total control of Libya's second largest city, seizing military barracks with rockets and ammunition.
The US embassy in Libya has shut down and all diplomatic staff have been evacuated to neighboring Tunisia by military escort because of ongoing clashes and violence between rival militias sweeping the country.
Libya is considering a deployment of international force to re-establish security amid a flare-up of violence in Tripoli which saw dozens of rockets destroy most of the civilian aircraft fleet at its international airport.
Seven people have been killed and 36 others wounded in the worst clashes in the Libyan capital for six months, the Health Ministry says. Tripoli airport witnessed multiple explosions and heavy gunfire during the fighting between rival militia groups.
The US is sending 1,000 Marines in an amphibious assault ship to Libya's coast as a “precautionary” move should the US embassy require evacuation, a US official said. Security concerns also led the US to suggest Americans in Libya "depart immediately."
Forty-three people were killed in Friday clashes between two militias and army troops loyal to a rogue general in Libya. The country’s authorities called the military offensive a “coup” and closed Benghazi's airport.
Gunmen attacked Libya’s parliament on Tuesday just as lawmakers were to hold a vote on the country’s next prime minister. The assailants opened fire, wounding several, according to parliament spokesman Omar Hmeidan.