A local Libyan commander says deadly clashes are underway between Islamist militias and forces loyal to a renegade general who has vowed to take control of the eastern city of Benghazi.

The militia commander says at least three people have been killed in the fighting so far. He says his militia took a military camp and tanks from Gen. Khalifa Hifter's forces after a suicide bomber blew himself at the camp gates.

A security official allied to Hifter denied the claim. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the fighting in Benghazi.

Hifter's forces are backed by armed residents.

Speaking on local TV late Tuesday, Hifter announced an "armed revolt" on Wednesday against the Islamist extremists who overran army barracks and claimed control over Benghazi earlier this year.