Libya's new interior minister has visited the war-torn eastern city of Benghazi amid deadly fighting between pro-government forces and Islamist militias for control of the city.

Friday's visit by Omar al-Sanki comes as Libya is mired in turmoil, split between two rival parliaments and governments. Al-Sanki represents the internationally recognized government that emerged from June parliament elections.

He pledged police would return to Benghazi soon.

Al-Sanki visit was meant be a show of legitimacy of his government, which is based in the far eastern city of Bayda. It came a day after Libya's supreme court, based in the capital, Tripoli, declared the new parliament and government illegal.

The Benghazi fighting has been among the worst spasms of violence since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled. Hundreds have died on both sides.