13 killed in Libya clashes

Tripoli: At least 13 people were killed in violent clashes between Islamist militias and Libyan security forces in the struggle to control Benghazi city.

Rtd Libyan general Khalifa Haftar Friday launched a military operation against the Majlis al-Shura, Thowar Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia militias in a bid to regain control of the city.

A security official in Benghazi told Efe that fighting continues in the al-Sabri, Gar Younis and al-Selmani districts of Benghazi.

The official said Majlis al-Shura forces tried to surround positions defended by Haftar loyalists but were driven off by air strikes by pilots who have sided with the general.

The source added that Haftar was joined by armed youths from different parts of the country and managed to gain control of al-Majuri district in central Benghazi.

Meanwhile, the situation seemed stable in Kikla, south of Tripoli, although some shells have fallen on the city, a security source said.

The source added that Fajr Libya militia, which is trying to wrest control of Kikla from Haftar's troops, deployed its fighters along two of the roads leading into the city's eastern quarter.

A medical source inside the city told Efe that 10 seriously injured people were admitted to Kikla hospital for treatment.

The United Nations special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon of Spain, recently called for the parties involved in the Libyan conflict to open a political dialogue and avoid further military escalation.

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