World Bulletin/News Desk
The death toll from Friday's clashes between forces loyal to former Libyan army commander Khalifa Haftar and an army-affiliated militia in Benghazi has risen to 43, according to an Anadolu Agency tally based on local hospital sources.
The fighting has also left at least 124 people injured, according to the sources.
Sources at Benghazi General Hospital said they had received nine dead and eight injured, while sources in Benghazi's Galaa Hospital said they had received five dead and 41 injured.
Abyar Hospital, meanwhile, received six dead and 28 injured, while Marg Hospital reported three dead and 47 injured, sources at the respective hospitals said.
Haftar's irregular forces remain engaged in deadly fighting in the city with the Rafallah al-Sahati Brigade, which was absorbed into the Libyan army following the 2011 ouster and death of late leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Haftar's forces recently launched a campaign in Benghazi dubbed "Libya's Dignity," the stated aim of which is to "purge" the province of "rogue militias."
Although the Rafallah al-Sahati militia was absorbed into the Libyan army, Benghazi residents continue to accuse its members of backing armed extremist groups.
In February, Haftar – who played a key role in the 2011 uprising – prompted fears of a military coup when he appeared on television in military uniform to demand the dissolution of Libya's parliament and interim government.
He had also claimed his forces had seized control of several military and strategic sites around the country.
The Libyan army at the time quickly refuted Haftar's claims, affirming that it remained in full control of all army barracks and military units throughout the country.
Libyan authorities have struggled to restore law and order since Gaddafi's ouster and death in 2011 amid the continued refusal of armed militias – which helped overthrow the late leader – to give up their weapons.Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mayıs 2014, 15:42