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20 killed in eastern Libya clashes

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At least 20 people were killed in clashes between extremist militias and army forces in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, Libyan media reported on Tuesday.

A suicide attack on a military base late Tuesday in Benghazi killed at least four people, Libyan news agency al-Tadhamun reported. The double car bombing occurred at the entrance to a barracks.

Earlier, the independent Libyan news site al-Wasat reported 16 dead in clashes that began on Monday between the army and the Ansar al-Sharia and Libya Shield 1 militias.

al-Tadhamun reported that Ansar al-Sharia had captured three army posts in the city.

The battles followed a week of fighting in the Libyan capital between rival militias for control of Tripoli International Airport.

The violence prompted the Libyan government to ask the UN Security Council to deploy international military advisers to the North African country to help maintain security and protect oil installations.

Libya’s government has struggled to impose order since the 2011 ouster of ruler Moamer Gaddafi. The country has been paralysed by political infighting and the proliferation of heavily armed militias.

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