Rights group says displaced Libyans can't return to Benghazi

Human Rights Watch says armed groups, some linked to the self-styled Libyan National Army, have prevented thousands of internally displaced families from returning to their homes in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The New York-based group said Thursday that displaced Libyans have reported theft of property, torture, arrests and forcible disappearances at the hands of groups linked to the LNA, which is led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter.

It urged Hifter to "act resolutely to end the attacks on civilians in Benghazi."

In January, Hifter instructed his forces to facilitate the return of those displaced and denounced forced displacement and attacks on private property.

HRW says an estimated 13,000 families fled Benghazi after Hifter launched a campaign against Islamic militants in 2014.

Libya fell into chaos following a 2011 uprising.