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Forces allied to Libya's elected government seize western town


CAIRO — Libyan officials say forces allied to the elected government have seized a western mountain town after heavy airstrikes hit rival militias.

Fighting in Kikla, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tripoli, started over 40 days ago and has left over 300 dead and nearly 1,000 wounded.

The combat is part of an ongoing power struggle between the elected government that was forced to leave the capital and convene in Libya's far east, and a rival alliance of Islamists and militias from the city of Misrata who have controlled Tripoli since August.

In a statement, the Tripoli-based forces admitted defeat but said other fronts remain open. Local town official Nour Eddin bel Qassim says fighters from Kikla as well as surrounding cities and Tripoli militias were forced to retreat.

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