Libya Closes Benghazi Port Amid Fighting 

Libya Closes Benghazi Port Amid Fighting Libya Closes Benghazi Port Amid Fighting 

The major Libyan commercial port of Benghazi has been closed due to ongoing fighting between militants and pro-government forces struggling to retake the area.

“All ship movements and discharging of imports have been stopped,” a port official told Reuters on Tuesday. The Benghazi port is a vital terminal for eastern Libya as it serves for oil exports and imports of food and international goods.

This comes after fierce fighting erupted in the city on Monday with pro-government forces launching an attack on areas held by militants.

Earlier, the army had asked the residents of the district near the port to evacuate before a military operation to avoid casualties. Dozens of people left the city. However, many had nowhere to go and joined the security forces in the fight against the militants.

Militias now control large parts of the country as Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 revolution. The country is divided between two rival governments, with disparate tribes, militias and political factions fighting for power in the country.

The newly-elected government had to flee from the capital Tripoli to the eastern town of Tobruk close to the Egyptian border after militias took control of the capital in July. It aims to relocate to Benghazi soon once army units restore security there, its deputy speaker said on Tuesday.