Five soldiers killed in Libya's volatile east
27 November 2013, 16:58
Benghazi - Three soldiers were shot dead in Libya's second city Benghazi on Wednesday and the bodies of two more were found in the nearby eastern town of Derna, officials said.
The latest violence came as Benghazi was on a three-day strike to protest against the country's unruly militias after a shootout on Monday between a jihadist group and the army left seven people dead and another 50 wounded.
"Al-Jala hospital received the remains of three soldiers shot dead in separate attacks," hospital spokeswoman Fadia al-Barghathi said, adding that a fourth soldier had been hospitalised.
The bodies of two more soldiers were found in the eastern town of Derna on Tuesday, a local official told AFP.
Libyan forces guarding Benghazi's Al-Jala hospital came under fire overnight, but no one was wounded, and the assailants fled after a special forces unit returned fire, a security official said.
The city council declared the three-day strike after an army patrol came under attack near the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia, a jihadist group blamed for the 2012 attack on a US mission in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
Libya has seen mounting unrest since the toppling of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 by a ragtag assortment of rebel brigades, many of which have since been transformed into militias that defy the weak central government.
Schools, universities and banks in Benghazi were still closed on Wednesday, but only around half the city's shops remained shuttered, according to an AFP correspondent.