A military spokesman confirmed that around 40 have died in three separate car bombings and heavy fighting between army soldiers and militia groups on Thursday. The violence also wounded more than 70 people.
SHAFAQNA- The Libyan army says dozens of soldiers have been killed and many more wounded in bomb attacks and clashes between troops and militants around Benghazi airport.
The fighting took place near the Benina International Airport east of the volatile city as the fight for political and military supremacy continues to intensify across the country.
Militants from the Shura Revolutionary Council, which includes Ansar al-Sharia group, launched a fresh attack on the Benina International Airport on Wednesday.
The militants have already taken control of army bases in Benghazi.
The airport is the last remaining stronghold of forces loyal to the former general, Khalifa Haftar, who has launched a military offensive against militants, vowing to crush them and “establish stability in Libya.”
General Sagr al-Jerushi, an aide to Haftar, said warplanes and helicopters have been used to stop militants advances on the airport.
Libyan authorities have denounced Haftar’s attack as a “coup” bid.
Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled the longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militants and deep political divisions.
The country has recently been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups that refuse to lay down arms.