Heavy skirmishes have reportedly erupted in Libya’s northeastern city of Derna between Daesh terror elements and troops loyal to the nation’s internationally-recognized government, leaving four soldiers dead.
Three more pro-government forces were also injured during the armed clashes on Friday outside the coastal city, a Daesh stronghold east of the major port city of Benghazi, a Reuters report said citing military authorities.
This is while the country’s air force loyal to the UN-recognized government based in the eastern city of Tobruk also conducted air raids against suspected Daesh targets in Benghazi, a different battle site, according to air force spokesman Nasser al-Hassi as cited in the report.
No casualty figures from the air raids were released as Libya's official government has been working out of Tobruk since losing control of the capital Tripoli in August 2014 when an armed militant group took over the city and set up a rival government there.
The Daesh terrorists have exploited the persisting security vacuum in the oil-rich country to set up and maintain a base in Derna, from which they attempt to expand their influence.
The United Nations, meanwhile, has been attempting to persuade the rival factions to establish a national unity government, though a rival parliament in Tripoli has so far refused to sign a UN-drafted deal.
The ongoing conflict in the war-ravaged country is part of the turmoil gripping Libya, which has fragmented into two governments and parliaments allied to former militant groups that collaborated in toppling the North African nation’s long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi during a popular revolution in 2011.
According to UN figures, nearly 435,000 people in Libya have become internally displaced as a result of the unrest in the country.
Libya is also threatened by a humanitarian crisis with figures suggesting that nearly 1.2 million others in the largely desert nation do not have access to food.
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