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Officials: Libyan army forces loyal to rogue general battle 2 militias in country's east

Libyan security officials say fierce fighting is underway in the country's east between army troops believed to be loyal to a rogue general at the center of recent coup rumors and two militias influential in the city of Benghazi.

The officials say military aircraft and helicopters, apparently under the command of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, have been flying over Benghazi since early Friday.

On the ground, Hifter's troops have laid siege on the bases of two militias and are engaging in heavy clashes.

The militias are Rafallah al-Sahati, which is led by an Islamist commander, and a militia known as February 17.

The security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to media.

It isn't clear if Hifter's forces are fighting without Tripoli's approval.