Libyan Army Moves Towards Recapturing Benghazi

The Libya National Army, supported by Major General Khalifa Haftar, has entered Benghazi for the first time in two months.

Published: 23rd October 2014 10:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2014 10:58 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

BENGHAZI: The Libya National Army, supported by Major General Khalifa Haftar, has entered Benghazi for the first time in two months.

"A number of special armed forces and other fighters entered the city Wednesday to increase control of the neighbourhoods while Islamist forces were clearly retreating," Xinhua quoted Libya's special forces spokesperson Ahmad Al-Mismari as saying.

"Army units are stationed in Hay Al-Salam in Benghazi after passing through areas in the north-east and centre of the city," an eyewitness said.

The eastern Libyan city has been under control of Islamist militias since August.

However, brigade 21 of the special forces, along with brigade 204 of the regular army, are still engaged in clashes with the Islamist militias in western Benghazi.

Haftar, who played a major role in toppling Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been waging a war on Benghazi's Islamist armed groups since May.

He said his 'Operation Dignity' was pounding the Islamist armed groups, Shura Council and Ansar al-Sharia.

But Haftar's secular-leaning forces have met several major setbacks and lost most of their bases in Benghazi since August.

Armed civilians joined Haftar's forces in recent attacks to re-take Benghazi.

Libya has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence after the 2011 turmoil, which led to the toppling of Gaddafi.

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