Libya: Militants in Benghazi may have kidnapped 25 missing soldiers

The army special forces have allied themselves with troops of former Gaddafi-era general Khalifa Haftar who has declared war on Islamists in Libya.

hidden September 10, 2014 18:49:13 IST
Libya: Militants in Benghazi may have kidnapped 25 missing soldiers

Benghazi: Islamists militants in Libya have probably kidnapped up to 25 soldiers who are missing in the eastern city of Benghazi and killed five others, an army commander said on Wednesday, as the two sides battled over control of the airport.

Violent anarchy has taken hold in the port city and in the capital Tripoli, causing the central government to lose its grip on power three weeks ago, three years after an uprising ousted Muanmar Gaddafi.

Western powers worry Libya will turn into a failed state or head towards another civil war. Tripoli is in the hands of an armed group linked to the western city of Misrata after it expelled a rival group and forced the elected parliament to relocate to a town in the remote east of Libya.

Libya Militants in Benghazi may have kidnapped 25 missing soldiers

Representational Image. Reuters

In Benghazi, Islamist fighters have been trying to seize Benghazi's civilian and military airport in recent weeks by approaching the site from several sides, residents say. The army has tried to stop the advance with artillery fire.

Five soldiers were killed and seven others wounded when Islamist fighters belonging to a group called Majlis al-Shoura attacked an army checkpoint in Benghazi on Tuesday, Fadhil al-Hasi, a special forces commander, told Reuters.

Majlis al-Shoura refers to an alliance of Islamist fighters in Benghazi that includes Ansar al-Sharia, the group Washington said was behind an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi two years ago during which the then American ambassador was killed.

"Twenty-five soldiers are missing," Hasi said, adding that Islamists had most likely abducted them during recent fighting at checkpoints in Benghazi. He gave no precise dates.

Hasi also said fighting at the Benina area where the airport is located was continuing, with war planes bombing Islamist positions.

The army special forces have allied themselves with troops of former Gaddafi-era general Khalifa Haftar who has declared war on Islamists in Libya.

NATO and Arab countries have been training Libyan soldiers since the toppling of Gaddafi but Libya's regular forces are often no match for armed groups battle-hardened from the eight-month uprising in 2011.

Reuters

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

UAE announces emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine that is still in its final testing, for healthcare workers
World

UAE announces emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine that is still in its final testing, for healthcare workers

Chinese drug giant Sinopharm began the third phase of trials for a Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE in July, with Emirati officials saying the results have been positive.

Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognise Israel in US-brokered deal
World

Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognise Israel in US-brokered deal

The announcement came less than a week before Trump hosts a ceremony to mark the establishment of full relations between Israel and the UAE

IPL 2020: Will another revamp and KL Rahul-Anil Kumble partnership turn it around for KXIP?
First Cricket News

IPL 2020: Will another revamp and KL Rahul-Anil Kumble partnership turn it around for KXIP?

With the return of Glenn Maxwell in the middle order and having found death-bowling options in Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan, the team seems to have its bases covered.