Libya’s east-based army says clashes kill 12 gov’t troops near Gharyan

Libya’s east-based army said on Sunday that 12 troops of the rival UN-backed government were killed and more than 20 others injured in violent clashes near the city of Gharyan, some 80 km south of the capital Tripoli.

Those who were killed include a senior military commander and two Islamic State (IS) suspects, the army’s information office said in a statement.

The statement also said the army took control of a position of the UN-backed government’s forces near Gharyan.

The UN-backed government has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict since early April in and around Tripoli against the east-based army, which is trying to take over the city and overthrow the government.

Last month, the UN-backed government’s forces took over Gharyan city and expelled the east-based army.

The east-based army, led by Khalifa Haftar, is allied with the east-based government, as the North African nation is politically divided between eastern and western governments.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.