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Libya's political chaos deepens

An Islamist militia attack on the Sirte Basin was repulsed. But more conflict looks likely

A new offensive by Islamist militias to capture Libya's eastern oilfields has set back the state oil company's hopes that foreign firms will return to the country's upstream - and creates new doubts about its ability to sustain an oil-output recovery. The Benghazi Defence Brigades, originally from Benghazi and now occupying the central towns of Houn and Waddan, launched an offensive on 9 February against the Libyan National Army (LNA), which has since September controlled the Sirte Basin, the prolific heartland of Libya's oil sector. The attack was beaten back before it got underway by a wave of LNA air and helicopter strikes. The forces, under the control of eastern general Khalifa Haftar,

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