Three Libyan soldiers wounded in new Benghazi attack

Three Libyan soldiers have been seriously wounded in a new attack in the eastern city of Benghazi after deadly clashes with jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, a security official said Friday.

"Unidentified men fired a machinegun at a patrol on Syria Avenue in Benghazi, wounding three troops" late Thursday, the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Fadia al-Barghathi, a spokeswoman at the city's Al-Jala hospital, confirmed that three seriously wounded soldiers had been brought in.

Three soldiers were killed earlier Thursday when the army clashed with Ansar al-Sharia militants on the final day of a three-day strike in protest against militias.

The strike was sparked by a Monday shootout between jihadists and the army that left seven people dead and 50 wounded.

Another soldier was killed in a drive-by shooting in broad daylight Thursday as he left a cafe with a colleague who escaped unscathed.

Since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted and killed in a 2011 revolution that began in Benghazi, the transitional authorities in the North African nation have been plagued by security problems.

They have tried in vain to integrate most former rebels into the regular armed forces, with many militias carving their own fiefdoms, each with its own ideology and regional allegiances.