Sunday, November 30, 2014

Death Toll Hits 450 as Fighting Continues in Libya's Benghazi
Damage from rebel clashes in Benghazi.
2014-11-30 21:24:13

TRIPOLI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- At least 450 people were killed in violent clashes and illegal executions in Libya's Benghazi since the Libyan army launched operations in the second largest city, medical sources said on Sunday.

"The people killed include civilians hit by random shelling and shooting in the areas of the clashes, as well as armed civilians who participate with the retired general Khalifa Haftar's forces," a medical worker at a local hospital said.

He added that the death toll included "the Islamist fighters whose bodies were transferred to the city's hospitals."

A spokesman for Benghazi Medical Center announced that the hospital has received 401 dead bodies, mostly army soldiers, since mid October. The number of dead bodies received by other hospitals in eastern Libya since the start of the battles is about 49.

A joint statement of the Libyan Red Crescent Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the violence has forced more than 10,000 families to leave Benghazi, and many other deserted their homes in the city.

Since Oct. 15, the Libyan army and forces loyal to the retired Major General Khalifa Haftar are waging a war to restore the city of Benghazi which had been held by Islamist militias. Some witnesses said that heavy clashes took place in the dense-populated area of the city.

Benghazi, the birthplace of the 2011 counter-revolution that toppled Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence since then. The city is now plagued by assassinations, kidnappings and deadly clashes between different armed groups.

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