Middle East

Libyan militias seize control of major oil terminals

Libyan military officials say that rival militias have taken control over Libyan oil terminals after clashes with armed forces based in the east and commanded by army chief Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Faisal al-Zwei, the spokesman for the 101 Brigade, based at the so-called oil crescent region, told The Associated Press that some 1000 militiamen in 200 vehicles clashed with the armed forces in the east over the oil terminals of al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf on Friday, forcing the army units to retreat. Mohammed al-Basit, the brigade's commander, confirmed the report.

The militias, known as Benghazi Defense Brigades, are comprised of Islamic militants and former rebels who were recently defeated by Hifter's forces in Benghazi, Libya' second largest city. They were joined by militiamen from the western city of Misrata.