BENGHAZI- The death toll in heavy fighting between the Libyan army and militants in the eastern Benghazi city has risen to 18, hospital doctors said today.

They said around 30 people had been wounded during clashes that started at dawn and were still raging through parts of the port city by midday.

The North African state, an OPEC member, is in protracted turmoil three years after the NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, with Islamist, anti-Islamist, regional and political factions locked in conflict.