East Libyan forces said on Wednesday they had taken complete control of a long contested district in Benghazi after dozens of families and captives trapped by fighting left the area.
If confirmed, the capture of Ganfouda district would mark a major gain for the Libyan National Army (LNA) as it seeks to finish a military campaign against Islamist-led opponents that it has been waging for more than two years.
LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Reuters that the liberation of Ganfouda was complete.
“We are announcing the liberation of the Ganfouda area from terrorist control and we are congratulating all Libyans for this victory,” said Ahmed.
He added however that the army was yet to secure a separate area known as the “12 Blocks” which lies between Ganfouda and Bosnaib, another neighbourhood recently taken by the LNA.
Benghazi has seen some of the worst violence in the conflict in Libya following the country’s 2011 uprising. LNA commander Khalifa Haftar launched his Operation Dignity campaign against Islamists and other opponents in the city in May 2014.