Mohamed Zahawi, head of the Benghazi brigade of Ansar al-Sharia, delivers a statement in Benghazi May 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)
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Though launched by government aircraft, the attack appears to be part of renegade Gen. Khalifa Hifter's ongoing offensive, aimed at crushing Islamist militias and their alleged backers in parliament. Eastern air bases have pledged their support to Hifter, who launched the offensive May 16 in Benghazi.Two days later, militias allied with Hifter stormed and ransacked the Libyan parliament in Tripoli, declaring the body suspended. February 17, founded by Islamist Fawzi Abu Katef and targeted in Hifter's May 16 attack, is one of the biggest and most powerful militias in Benghazi. The attack by militias aligned with Hifter came as parliament planned to name a Cabinet for Matiq's administration.
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