Middle East

Spokesman: Airstrikes target Libyan militias near oil field

A Libyan official says warplanes belonging to the country's east-based military have carried out at least nine airstrikes targeting Islamic militias near an oil field in central Libya.

Faisal Ahbale, a spokesman for the east-based forces, told The Associated Press on Friday that the airstrikes hit militias known as Bengahzi Defense Brigades. They are a mixture of Islamic militants and former rebels recently defeated in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.

Ahbale says the militias were advancing toward a key oil field in the hands of the army and called al-Mabrouk, located 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the so-called Oil Crescent — a geographical region along the central part of Libya's Mediterranean Sea coast where most oil terminals are located.

He says five militiamen were killed and 20 were wounded.