By Maha Suleiman and Aimen Amzein.
Benghazi, 27 September 2015:
Intensive fighting continued today in Benghazi’s Sabri, Hawari, Leithi and Buatni districts for . . .[restrict]the ninth day running, with the spokesman for the National Army (LNA), Colonel Mohamed Hijazi, claiming that 52 Ansar Al-Sharia and Islamic State had been killed in the past three days alone. By contrast, he told the Libya Herald, just three LNA soldiers had died since the offensive started. Codenamed Operation Doom, it was launched by Khalifa Hafter on 19 September.
(Other reports put the figure at five, with as many as 21 LNA soldiers said to have been wounded in the clashes, some seriously.)
Ansar and IS “are now weak,” Hijazi said, claiming that the LNA now had full control psychiatric and Hawari hospitals in the south of the city , and were about to take control of the nearby cement factory area. “We have surrounded them there,” he said.
He also denied that a curfew had been ordered or a number of LNA supported troops had been killed in a friendly fire incident yesterday in Buatni. There were reports that as many as eight had been killed after they ignored orders and headed into the area as it was being bombed. “It’s not true,” Hizazi said.
Regarding the curfew, he said that all the LNA was doing was asking people not to go out unless absolutely necessary, so that the military coud get on its with operation unimpeded.
Hijazi also claimed that a boat bringing militants to Mreisa, the small harbour south of Benghazi used to supply both Ansar and IS forces in the city, had been bombed. One report, report, however, claims that the vessel was hit on its was out of Mreisa, and that it was not transporting anyone at the time.
LNA officials have also claimed that following a massive air and ground operation in Sabri that is it now in control of much of the area although there are still militants operating there.
There have, however, been similar claims in past weeks. [/restrict]