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Benghazi civilians evacuate city as Islamists and paramilitary battle

While the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, including their supposed heir apparent to the Oval Office, Hillary Clinton, boast about the success of overthrowing Libyan dictator Col. Moamar Khadhafi, civilians are still living in fear for their lives thanks to the militias and the radical Muslim terrorist groups, according to reports on Saturday from Benghazi.

Benghazi jihadists are fighting against paramilitary forces without the
Getty Images/John Lund

A former Libyan Army general now commanding a paramilitary group in Benghazi advised civilians living in that chaotic city on Saturday to leave pack up their belonging and flee prior to his troops attacking Islamists who are members of al-Qaida's affiliate Ansar al-Sharia, according to counterterrorism and law enforcement veteran Roland Espinesky.

Libyan news web site Ajwa Belad said late on Saturday 75 people had been killed and 141 wounded and the Libyan government closed down Benina Airport outside of the city.

According to Libyan news sources, civilians were seen leaving the most dangerous parts of Benghazi the launching of a military offensive against the Islamists. The paramilitary force, who call themselves the Libyan National Army (LNA) although they possess no government authority, is retaliating after terrorists killed scores of Libyans in the worst fighting in Benghazi this year, according to the regional news media.

Families were observed driving away from the western part of the city where the Islamist terrorists and the LNA forces under the command of retired General Kalifa Haftar engaged in combat operations that left dozens dead on both sides on Friday.

Dressed in a military uniform complete with full-general insignia, Haftar said Saturday that his forces made a tactical retreat from Benghazi and those innocent civilians who did not evacuate were endangering themselves and their children.

"We'll come back soon in full force," he told reporters during a briefing in a small village outside of Benghazi. "We've started this battle and will not stop fighting until we have achieved victory."

While the Libyan parliament in Tripoli, Libya, does not recognize Haftar or his LNA as a legitimate government-sanctioned fighting force, Haftar told reporters that the current regime and parliament could not dictate who has or hasn't authority since Tripoli's central government has thus far failed to provide security for the Libyan people.

"The [Arab] street and the Libyan people are with us," he proclaimed to the media.

Meanwhile, according to Arab news agencies, parliamentary speaker and military commander-in-chief Nuri Abu Sahmain in Tripoli accused Haftar of attempting to incite a coup against the fledging government.

"(LNA) members who have carried out the clashes in Benghazi are out of the control of the state of Libya and they are trying to attempt a coup for their own interests," Abu Sahmain said in a televised news conference.

Even with the U.S. and European Union assisting Libya in building up and training an effective regular army and police department, Libya's security forces still can't stop the militias and Islamist groups who originally helped to overthrow dictator Moamar Khadhafi.

Benghazi was the birthplace of the 2011 protests against the country's former dictator. The city has witnessed a dramatic increase violence and has become a major extremist base in North Africa since the U. S. ambassador to Libya was killed in 2012.

Libya's interim government had failed to gather the weapons and ammo spread all over the country by NATO and the U.S., leaving major threats to the public security and to the creation of a Western-style democracy.

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