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Toll in Libya clashes rises to 356

Toll in Libya clashes rises to 356

Tripoli: At least 16 people were killed in violent clashes between Libyan army and Islamic militants in the eastern city of Benghazi Saturday - taking the toll to 356 since the beginning of the violence about a month ago, sources said.

"The centre has received 16 dead bodies killed in clashes and random shooting," a medical source in Benghazi Medical Centre said.

The Libyan army, reinforced by gunmen loyal to retired Major-General Khalifa Haftar, has been waging a street war against Islamic militants in Libya's second city Benghazi since mid-October, in an attempt to regain control of the city, which fell into the hands of Islamists last July.

Since the battles broke out a month ago, at least 356 people have been killed, medical sources said.

Benghazi was the birthplace of the 2011 protests that toppled Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The city has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence and become a major extremist base in North Africa since the US ambassador to Libya was killed in 2012.

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