Libyan irregular forces backed by helicopters on Friday clashed with former rebel Islamist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi in fighting that left at least 12 people dead and scores wounded.
Troops apparently under the control of retired General Khalifa Hifter shelled bases of the Islamist militia Rafallah al-Sahati and another Islamist militant group known as February 17, officials said.
A spokesman for Hifter told Libyan television station Al-Ahrar that some regular military units joined Hifter’s forces in the attacks, saying they now controlled the two bases. This has not been independently confirmed.
Libya’s army chief of staff Abdessalam Jadallah al-Salihin told state television, however, that he had given no orders for any regular military units to attack bases in Benghazi.