By Noorah Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 15 June 2014:
There are unconfirmed reports that Ansar Sharia lost 53 dead and 62 injured, many seriously, in . . .[restrict]the heavy fighting in Benghazi today with only four deaths and twelve injured among members of the Operation Dignity force.
The fighting was centred on Sidi Faraj where the Dignity troops had surrounded a camp used by Ansar Sharia. There were reports this morning that the compound had been overrun. However Mohamed Hejazi, the Dignity spokesman said that part of Sidi Faraj was still in Ansar Sharia hands.
Electric power, which was cut to much of the city around dawn was restored early in the afternoon. Some civilians fled the fighting and the least three were injured and taken to Jalaa Hospital where they are still being treated.
Hejazi, who gave the casualty figures for both sides, told the Libya Herald that there were sources within Ansar Sharia who had confirmed the number of the Islamists’ dead and injured. He said that bodies left on the street were loaded onto trucks by locals and taken away. He added that five Islamists were also captured, including three high-ranking members whom he did not name. He revealed however, that one was the head of operations in the 17 February brigade, nicknamed Bu Dalal.
Today was the first time that the Dignity forces had deployed tanks. Hejazi declined to say precisely how many tanks and self-propelled guns had been used in the assault on Sidi Faraj but insisted that none had been damaged in the fighting. [/restrict]