Army makes further costly advance in Benghazi

By Libya Herald reporters.

The strategic Smugglers' Road taken by the LNA today (Photo: social media)

The key Smugglers’ Road taken by the LNA today (Photo: social media)

Benghazi, 14 December 2016:

The least 11 soldiers died today and eight were injured during heavy fighting as the Libyan National Army worked its way further into the terrorist-held enclave in Benghazi’s Ganfouda district.

Airstrikes and artillery fire preceded the advance to secure the Tarek Alharaba (Smugglers’ Road) between Ganfouda  and Bousneeb which army commanders consider strategically significant.

Wrecked studio from which IS broadcasted (Photo: social media)

Wrecked studio from which IS apparently broadcast (Photo: social media)

In the course of the last 24 hours it is said that a major food dump has been overrun along with a building housing an IS radio station. A small ammunition store was also said to have been found and destroyed.

LNA has denied fled-family pictures are fake (Photo: LNA)

LNA has denied fled-family pictures are fake (Photo: LNA)

The flow of civilians leaving the enclave continues to be intermittent. LNA sources have denied that social media pictures of fleeing families which were published earlier in the week were fakes. Today the army said that only four families had come over. There are however reports that two prisoners held by the terrorists somehow found freedom. The pair had originally been picked up in 2011 during the Revolution and later fell into the terrorists’ hands.

Akhram Al-Bassiouni was the latest field commander to perish in action (Photo: social media)

Akhram Al-Bassiouni was the latest field commander to perish in action (Photo: social media)

Despite now being apparently entirely cut off from any resupply,  fighters from the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council and their terrorist allies from IS and Ansar Al-Sharia continue to exact a heavy toll. The fight has been notable for the number of senior officers to be killed. Saiqa Special Forces field commander Akhram Al-Bassiouni was the latest victim, one of four soldiers to die on Sunday.

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