May 6, 2016 / 5:47 PM / a year ago

Shelling kills four at rally in Libya's Benghazi: source

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - At least four people were killed and more than 20 wounded in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday when shells were fired at a rally in support of forces allied with the country’s eastern government, a medical source said.

Women and children were among the wounded when the shells hit Al-Keesh square. Demonstrators had gathered in support of the Libyan National Army, whose leader General Khalifa Haftar is spearheading a campaign against Islamist militants.

A U.N.-backed unity government in Tripoli is trying to end a conflict between rival factions, one of which took over the capital in 2014 and forced the other to rebase in the east of the country.

The conflict led to a chaotic security vacuum, in which Islamist militants have gained ground.

It was not clear who had fired the shells at the rally. Benghazi has been one frontline in Libya’s multi-sided war, with Haftar managing this year to drive Islamist militants and other rival armed factions out of the city. But fighting continues on the city outskirts.

Reporting by Ayman El-Warfalli; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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