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Last update: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05am

New air strike on Libyan city Misrata, clashes near oil port

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government on Saturday staged air strikes on the commercial port of Misrata, a western city allied to a group that holds the capital Tripoli, both sides said. Fighting was also reported near the country's biggest oil export port located in the east, part of a struggle between troops loyal to two competing governments and parliaments.

The internationally recognised prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been forced to run a rump state in the east since a group known as Libya Dawn linked to Misrata took control of Tripoli last August and set up a rival government. Saqer al-Joroushi, commander of an air force unit loyal to Thinni, said war planes had hit Misrata port and an air force academy located in the western city.

A state news agency loyal to the rival Tripoli government confirmed the air strikes, saying two people had been wounded when several rockets hit a port building. Misrata, 200 km (125 miles) east of Tripoli, has a major sea port and free trade zone. The city had so far mostly escaped the fighting that has threatened to break up Libya. Separately, troops loyal to Thinni said they had attacked a rival force which three weeks ago tried to seize the Es Sider oil port, the country's biggest.

Copyright Reuters, 2015