Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

WEB NEWS

"Ice Bucket Challenge" angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Africa

Libyan troops clash with Islamist militants

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-27

At least nine people were killed and dozens were injured when Libya's new army clashed with the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia in the eastern city of Benghazi on Monday.

Libyan troops clashed with Islamist militants in the eastern city of Benghazi on Monday in gun battles in which at least nine people were killed and dozens were wounded, according to medical and security sources.

Still in training, Libya’s new military is struggling to curb Islamist militants and militias who fought in the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi but refuse to disarm and control parts of the country.

Gunfire and explosions could be heard in Benghazi and thick smoke rose from the Ras Obeida area. The army ordered residents to stay off the city streets and recalled troops on leave to their units in the city.

Fighting broke out when an army special forces unit pursued a suspect into an area where Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia operates its own checkpoints, Benghazi city security officials said.

Interim Interior Minister Sadiq Abdelkarim told reporters on Monday that the militias had overstepped the mark by attacking government security services.

“The police and the army must regain control of the city,” he said. “Attacking the army is crossing a red line.”

Western concerns

Ansar al-Sharia was blamed for the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi a year ago when the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

The chaos in Libya is worrying its neighbours and the Western powers who backed the uprising that led to the fall of Gaddafi two years ago in one of the Arab Spring revolts.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was briefly abducted by a militia last month, met US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London on Sunday to discuss cooperation.

Rival militia groups withdrew from Tripoli last week after clashes killed more than 40 people when protesters marched to one of the militia bases to demand they leave the capital city.

Hoping to co-opt former fighters, the government hired militia groups to provide security. But they remain loyal to their commanders or tribes, and often clash in disputes over territory or personal feuds.

The US military, Britain, France, NATO and Turkey have all promised aid for the OPEC country’s armed forces. But most of the programmes are just beginning and the military is still no match for the armed groups.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2013-11-25

  • LIBYA

    Fresh clashes erupt between rival Libya militias

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Deadly fighting erupts in Libyan capital

    Read more

  • FRANCE - LIBYA

    France ponders increasing Libya aid to fight terrorism

    Read more

COMMENT(S)