BENGHAZI, Libya, July 21 Islamist militants
attacked an army base in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on
Monday, triggering fierce clashes involving helicopters and jets
that killed at least one person and wounding 20 others, sources
A week of fighting between rival militias for control of
Tripoli International Airport in the capital has killed at least
47 people and prompted the government to appeal for
international help to stop Libya becoming a failed state.
Tripoli was calmer on Monday, but in Benghazi, militants
linked to Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia attacked an army camp
and were repelled by troops and forces loyal to renegade retired
general Khalifa Haftar, who has been carrying out a
self-declared war on Islamist fighters, security sources said.
"Ansar al-Sharia tried to take over one special forces camp,
but the special forces and Hafter's forces fought back, using
helicopters and military aircraft in their attack," one source
Since the 2011 civil war that toppled autocrat Muammar
Gaddafi, Libya's fragile government and new army have been
unable to assert authority over rival brigades of former rebels
fighting for political and economic influence.
The clash over Tripoli airport has stopped most
international flights, damaged more than a dozen planes parked
at the airport and prompted the United Nations to pull its staff
out of the country due to security concerns.
(Reporting by Feras Bosalum and Ayman Al-Warfalli in Benghazi;
Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Louise Ireland)