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Monday, November 25, 2013

Jihadists attack Libyan forces in Benghazi -- AFP, The Telegraph.co.uk

First such confrontation between Libyan army and Ansar al-Sharia results in deaths of at least nine First such confrontation between Libyan army and Ansar al-Sharia results in deaths of at least nine

At least nine people have been killed and dozens more wounded after the Jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia attacked Libyan special forces in the city of Benghazi.
Military governor Colonel Abdullah al-Saidi declared a "state of alert" and ordered all soldiers to report for duty at their barracks, in what was the first such confrontation between the army and Libya's heavily-armed top jihadist group.
As the government warned that the army was a "red line" not to be crossed, Seddik Abdelkarim, the interior minister, announced in Tripoli a casualty toll of nine dead and 49 wounded.
Medics in Benghazi's Al-Jala hospital earlier reported five soldiers killed and 29 people wounded, including 10 civilians.
The number of casualties on the jihadists' side was not immediately known as they were being treated in a clinic run by Ansar al-Islam.

"A violent clash has been taking place for several hours between our forces and an Ansar al-Sharia cell," Colonel Milud al-Zwei, spokesman for Libya's special forces, said.

The fighting reportedly broke out after a special forces patrol near the group's headquarters came under attack.

"The army retaliated, sparking clashes with all types of weapons," Col Zwei said.

The spokesman said fighting between the two sides spread to other districts of Benghazi, especially near the group's charity clinic in the Selmani area.
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