Africa

Libya militia clashes leave at least 19 soldiers dead

BBC map Sirte

An attack on a power plant in the Libyan city of Sirte has left at least 19 soldiers dead.

Libyan military sources said the Libya Dawn movement, based in western Libya, was responsible for the attack.

In a separate incident, an oil tank at Libya's largest oil export terminal in Sidra caught fire when it was struck by a rocket during fighting.

Libya has been plagued by instability and infighting since the toppling of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Oil production has plummeted as strikes and fighting have closed down facilities.

Falling global oil prices have also severely affected Libyan oil receipts.

Rival militias

A spokesman for the Libya Dawn movement told Reuters that his forces were not responsible for damaging the oil tank in Sirte.

Ismail al-Shukri said warplanes belonging to the government had struck the tank.

Photos on social media appeared to show the tank on fire and producing thick black smoke,

Rival groups now control most of the country including the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi.

Islamist-leaning militias, some of them remnants of forces which helped oust Gaddafi, have taken power in western Libya.

These groups have attempted to reinstate Libya's previous parliament and appoint a parallel government, but this has not been recognised internationally.

The country's recognised parliament and government have been forced to move to eastern Libya.

Related Topics