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Car bomb kills 12 troops loyal to Libya's eastern government

Car bomb kills 12 troops loyal to Libya's eastern government

Libya

Twelve Libyan troops allied to General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the country’s eastern government have been killed by a car bomb in the city of Benghazi.

The Khalifa Haftar faction have been mounting an offensive against Islamic State insurgents in the region. This attack comes a day after the Eid celebrations that ended the holy month of Ramadan.

It is unclear whether the car bomb attack was orchestrated by Islamic State who have in the past carried out similar attacks.

The eastern government is a rival structure to the United Nations backed Unity Government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, based in Tripoli.

Government forces have in the recent past launched an offensive on the ISIS stronghold of Sirte, making massive gains against the retreating insurgents. These attacks have resulted in casualties on the side of the troops in some instances.

Libya has been split between rival governments since 2014, a consequence of the chaos that engulfed the country after a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.