The dominant armed force in the east Libyan city of Benghazi said on Thursday it had taken control of one the last holdouts of Islamist-led militias, amid clashes in which at least 18 troops were killed, according to medical officials.

The self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), whose commander, Khalifa Haftar, is a figurehead for factions aligned with an eastern-based government, has been fighting Islamist militants and other militias in Benghazi for more than two years.

Fighting resumed this week in the southwestern district of Ganfouda, and in nearby Guwarsha, the area in which the LNA said it had now flushed out the opposing forces.

“The forces of LNA have liberated Guwarsha and our forces found 15 bodies belonging to terrorist groups,” military spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Reuters.

A video circulating on social media showed LNA special forces field commander Wanis Boukhamada shouting into a radio: “Repeat, repeat, the main road of Guwarsha district Shajar Street has fallen! … God is great.”

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Image courtesy of Reuters

 

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