Rival militias in central Libya battle near oil terminal amid country's wider conflict

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Libyan officials say Islamist-allied militias from the western city of Misrata clashed have fought with an eastern militia that holds a major oil terminal in violence that killed at least two people.

The officials say Tripoli-based government — backed by Misrata militias and Islamist factions — ordered its forces to "liberate" the Sidra oil terminal. That terminal is held by the militia of eastern separatist Ibrahim Jedran. Jedran's forces are known to be loyal to Libya's elected government based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Saturday's fighting is the first confrontation near Libya's vital oil terminals. It highlights stakes of the ongoing chaos in Libya, where rival governments, parliaments and militias fight for power.