BENGHAZI , Libya, May 28 (UPI) -- A government-funded Libyan militia in Benghazi was bombed by army forces loyal to a renegade general, witnesses said.
General Khalifa Haftar, former army chief of staff under Muammar Gadhafi, accuses the Libyan government of supporting terrorism. Aircraft piloted by forces loyal to Haftar bombed a base of the February 17th Brigade, an armed group in the area with ties to the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia. There were no reports of casualties. Haftar has the support of a number of armed groups, including some Libyan Army and Air Force personnel. The government called the attack an "attempted coup."
The fall of Gadhafi left Libya with few reliable institutions, including a reliable police force. The government funds some armed groups, including the February 17th Brigade, to serve in a security capacity.
On Tuesday, Ansar al-Sharia's commander, Mohamed al-Zahawi, called attacks against his group a "crusade." He accused Haftar of being backed by foreign powers, and warned the United States not to intervene in Libya.
The U.S. has begun evacuating its citizens, noting Libya's political instability.