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Benghazi clashes death toll hits 70

The death toll from weekend fighting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi between troops loyal to a rogue general and Islamist militias has risen to 70, according to the country's health ministry.

Officials said on Sunday that 141 people were also injured in the fighting.

Libya's weak central government describes the offensive, which began on Friday by General Khalifa Hifter and included air support, as tantamount to a coup.

The violence showed how precarious government control remains three years after the 2011 civil war that toppled long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya's military banned flights on Saturday over Benghazi and said in a statement that it would target any military aircraft flying over the city, where the uprising against Gadhafi began.

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