Libyan forces take back Benghazi district’s control

Tripoli—Libyan forces loyal to a controversial general have wrestled back control of a Benghazi neighborhood from extremists, following months of fighting to drive the Islamists from the country’s second city.
General Khalifa Haftar’s troops took the al-Gwarcha district of Benghazi, which has been marred by unrest since his fighters launched a campaign to drive extremists out of the city earlier this year. “We dealt them a firm blow, it’s a major victory,” Khalifa al-Obeidi, head of press for Haftar’s Libyan National Army, told AFP Friday.
“We are presently pursuing terrorists who are entrenched one kilometer east.” Six of Haftar’s fighters died in clashes this week in al-Gwarcha district, including four special forces killed by a landmine explosion.
Haftar’s forces have regained several districts of Benghazi in recent months but have yet to retake the whole city. The divisive leader refuses to recognize the joint military command set by the UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNA) in Tripoli.—Agencies

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