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Chaos worsens in Libya as rebel fighters overrun a special forces base


Libya

Chaos worsens in Libya as rebel fighters overrun a special forces base

A Libyan fighter jet crashed and exploded in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday, as rebel fighters overran a special forces base.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on the ground at the site of the plane crash.

However, the battle for control of the base is thought to have resulted in the deaths of at least 30 people.

Over two weeks of fierce violence, Libya’s second city has seen its most intense fighting since the 2011 uprising which ousted former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Meanwhile battles between rival militias in the capital Tripoli have escalated to such an extent that many foreign states have urged their nationals to leave the country.

Reports suggest a member of the new Libyan parliament which is due to take office in August has been kidnapped. Mustafa Abushagor is said to have been abducted in Tripoli by unknown assailants, according to state news agency LANA.

Firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze at Libya’s largest fuel storage facility, after tanks were struck on Sunday and Monday.

The national oil company now says the fire is out of control and could cause a humanitarian and environmental disaster, and evacuations have begun.

In response to a Libyan plea for international aid, Italy will reportedly send planes and technical teams to assist with the crisis.

To add to the ongoing chaos in Libya, more than 20 people are believed to have died, while dozens are unaccounted for, following a shipwreck off the country’s coast.

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