Middle East Updates / Clashes in Libya kill 31

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9:07 A.M. A Libyan security official says clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi between Islamists and rival fighters loyal to a renegade general have killed 31 on both sides.

The official said early on Tuesday that fierce fighting erupted between Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s loyalists and a group of Islamist militias called The Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council late on Monday. The hours-long clashes concentrated around the city’s Benina airport. Hifter’s side lost 20 fighters while the militiamen had 11 killed, the official says. (AP)

4:18 A.M. Fiji’s military commander says Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers they’ve held captive for five days.

Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said Tuesday that the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the UN terrorist list, wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with UN officers.

Tikoitoga says the UN has sent hostage negotiators to Syria. (AP)

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