By Aimen Amzein and Moutaz Ahmed.
Benghazi, 26 July 2014:
There has been intense fighting throughout much of the day in Benghazi’s Buatni . . .[restrict]and Leithi districts as militants attacked the Saiqa Special Forces’ headquarters with missiles and were attacked in turn by air and counter missile strikes. There were massive explosions and smoke rising into the sky.
Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC) report at least 10 bodies being brought in as well as 50 injured. The hospital also put out an appeal for blood, saying it was desperately short. Doctors and nurses at the hospital have been working round the clock to deal with the injured.
Because of the intensity of the fighting, residents in the Musakam area near Leithi have been fleeing their homes in fear.
“We tried to stay but a missile hit our building. We left instantly, but there was heavy street fighting nearby,” one resident told the Libya Herald.
Much of the city is also suffering from power cuts as a result of an electricity station being hit yesterday. It has affected the mobile phone service and the internet. Both are down.
The clashes in Benghazi have been almost non-stop over the past few days. The number of dead taken to the BMC today was much the same today as Wednesday, when it received nine bodies and 20 injured, again because of fighting in Buatni. Others have been taken to the hospital in Marj, the operational centre of the Hafter’s forces. It too has reported shortages not only of equipment and medications but also of doctors and other medical staff.
For its part, the 17 February Battalion, which is allied to Ansar Al-Sharia, said yesterday that six of its members had been killed.
At Benina, over the weekend, missiles have also hit Benina airport. According to the airport management, at least six exploded there in the past 24 hours.
Cars belonging to airport staff were destroyed in one of the attacks.
Meanwhile, Benghazi Joint Security Room (BJSR) has denied social media reports that its head, Colonel Abdullah Al-Saiti, had stopped supporting Operation Dignity led by retired General Khalifa Hafter. In a statement, BJSR said the rumours were “unfounded” and a “cheap attempt” to discredit the Security Room in the person of its president and to confuse its members. [/restrict]