By Jason Ditz
The Benghazi Shura Council, a faction of Islamist militias assembled to resist attacks by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, has claimed total control over the city of Benghazi today, overrunning the last military positions in town.
Fighters with the Shura Council had routed the special forces in a base on the outskirts of town, and has seized the barracks inside the city as well, looting weapons. They are said to be the only fighting force in town.
The Shura Council includes Ansar al-Sharia, the group the US had blamed for the attack on the Benghazi Consulate, but is seen as more or less loyal to the Libyan parliament, which Gen. Hifter is trying to chase out of power.
The council’s takeover reflects Libya’s growing fracture along city lines, as the national government, to the extent it exists at all, holds little to no real authority beyond Tripoli, and even the capital is a site of constant clashing.