BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government said on Tuesday they had gained control over one of the last pockets of resistance held by Islamist-dominated opponents in Benghazi.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) troops captured the south-western district of Bosnaib from fighters loyal to Islamic State following a two-day assault backed by heavy weaponry and air strikes, said Fadel al-Hassi, an officer in the LNA’s special forces.
The LNA has been battling Islamists and other opponents in Benghazi since 2014, making major advances over the past year. It is led by Khalifa Haftar, who has become an increasingly dominant figure for factions based in the east that have refused to join a U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.
A medical official said 25 LNA troops were killed and 45 wounded in the latest fighting, and Hassi said two field commanders killed by mines were among the dead. No casualty figures were available for the LNA’s opponents.
On Sunday LNA forces lost a MIG fighter jet over Benghazi, which spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said had likely been hit by a missile. The crew ejected and survived.
Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by John Stonestreet