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Violence kills 4 Libyan soldiers in Benghazi

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
updated 2:27 PM EST, Thu November 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hospital says it received bodies of 3 soldiers killed in fighting in the eastern part of the city
  • Residents report fighting between the army and an unidentified armed group
  • Earlier, a Libyan soldier was shot dead by unknown assailants outside his home

(CNN) -- At least four Libyan soldiers were killed and three others wounded in violence in Benghazi on Thursday, medical and news agency sources said.

The city's al-Jalaa Hospital said it received the bodies of three soldiers killed in fighting that broke out in the eastern Sidi Khalifa district.

Residents reported fighting between the army and an unidentified armed group Thursday afternoon near the eastern entrance to Benghazi.

Earlier Thursday, a Libyan soldier was shot dead by unknown assailants outside his home in the city's al-Sabri neighborhood, the LANA state news agency reported.

On Wednesday, al-Jalaa Hospital said it received the bodies of three security force members who were shot dead in the city.

The latest violence comes after fierce fighting in Benghazi on Monday between army special forces and members of the militant Islamist group Ansar al Sharia. At least nine people were killed and dozens injured in the fighting.

The United States says it believes Ansar al Sharia was responsible for the attack on its diplomatic mission in Benghazi last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Attacks on security force members have spiked in the eastern city in recent weeks, especially as more troops were deployed in Benghazi in an effort to secure the city. On Wednesday, the government said security cameras had arrived in the city and were being installed as part of the security plan.

Over the past year, Benghazi has had some of the worst violence in Libya with a series of bombings and a campaign of assassinations that have mainly targeted security force members.

Many Libyans and human rights groups blame authorities for failing to hold anyone accountable for the violence.

While no one claims responsibility for these attacks, residents and security officials in the city blame Islamist militias.

More than two years after the fall of the Gadhafi regime, the government is struggling to control the hundreds of militias across the country and Islamist extremist groups, some with ties to al-Qaeda, mostly in the eastern part of Libya.

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