Libya’s rival Tobruk government officials said on Friday that eight people were killed and eight others were wounded when a rocket hit a residential district in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi.
Tobruk government blamed the central administration in Tripoli for the rocket fire.
Libya is currently divided between two parliaments, the General National Council (GNC) in the capital of Tripoli, which was founded with the help of the United States and France after the overthrow of Libyan authoritarian leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and the House of Representatives (HoR).
‘’The army has made much progress and they suffered big losses,’’ said a Tobruk government military commander Fadhal al Hassi, referring to the Majlis al Shura.
‘’We had been worried they would take revenge for that and indeed now they fired rockets,’’ he added.
Army forces, who are loyal to the renegade General Khalifa Haftar, have been backing the HoR, and base in the east since Tripoli was taken by a rival faction.
However, ISIS has exploited the safety vacuum while the two governments fight against each other. The group attacked oil fields and a luxurious lodge in Tripoli, killing dozens of foreigners, as well as local people.
The militants also attacked a safety checkpoint close to Derna, in east of Benghazi. Two soldiers were killed and five others were wounded, said a security officer.
In a central city Sirte, seized by ISIS, the militants took over an air base and expanded their presence to the south of the city following the forces loyal to the Tripoli government’s pulling out.
‘’Forces of the 166th brigade … relocated so that co-called Daesh (ISIS) fighters capture Qurdabiya air base,’’ said Mohamed el Shami, a military spokesman in Tripoli.