Cairo – The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Saturday that it was still pursuing the remaining extremists in the northern city of Benghazi only days after it announced that it was liberated from the gunmen.
Military and medical officials announced that 12 members of the army were killed and 35 others injured in battles that had erupted in the city.
LNA commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar had announced the liberation of Benghazi on Wednesday after three years of battles with extremists.
An official spokesman for the special forces said that five terrorists were arrested and nine others were killed during an operation to liberate the republican hospital in the city.
The special forces succeeded in securing the facility and nearby areas, as well as al-Nouran hotel and other neighborhoods in the Sidi Akherbish area.
Haftar’s forces have meanwhile been sweeping the final extremist pockets in al-Sabri neighborhood, which is still held by the army’s opponents.
The LNA was forced to abandon the use of heavy artillery in its fighting for fear of mistakenly targeting locals due to the narrow streets in the area.
At least five of the LNA’s opponents were killed and 11 arrested, including six Libyans, four Egyptians and a Tunisian, LNA officials said.
Haftar launched his “Operation Dignity” campaign in May 2014, slowly gaining the upper hand against militants and former rebels who fought slain leader Moammar Gadhafi in the 2011 uprising.