At least three soldiers have been killed, and further 11 wounded, following a suicide bombing attack on a group of soldiers in the Libyan port city, Benghazi.
A suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into a group of Libyan soldiers in central Benghazi on Tuesday, killing three and wounding 11 of them, a medic and a military source said.
Suicide bombings have become frequent in the eastern port city, where forces loyal to the country’s internationally recognised government have been clashing with Islamist fighters, part of chaos gripping the oil producer.
The car targeted a group of soldiers during a street battle close to the city’s port and naval base, where pro-government forces and Islamist brigades clash almost daily.
Forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised government have been fighting Islamist groups in the country’s second-largest city for over a year, part of a wider struggle since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.
Army forces backed by armed residents have regained some areas in Benghazi lost to the Islamist brigades last year, but critics say their use of war planes has turned parts of the city into rubble without gaining much on the ground.
The Benghazi fighting highlights the chaos in Libya, where two rival governments are vying for control. The official prime minister has been based in the east since the capital Tripoli was seized by a rival group that set up its own government.
Both sides command loose coalitions of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who, after the strongman’s ouster in 2011, split into factions along political, regional and tribal lines.
Islamic State has exploited the chaos by launching suicide bombings, executing foreigners and staging attacks against embassies in Tripoli.