DHAKA: Four Bangladeshis have been killed in gunfights between rival groups in the war-torn Libyan city of Benghazi, a minister said yesterday. State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam told AFP authorities did not yet have full details on the dead. Alam said embassy officials had received three bodies and they were being stored in a hospital in Libya. The fourth body had not yet been recovered. “They died in clashes between two Libyan groups in Benghazi on Saturday,” Alam said.

An estimated 20,000 Bangladeshis are believed to be working in Libya even though Dhaka some six months ago banned the sending of workers to the war-racked country. Last year two Bangladeshi workers were abducted by suspected Islamic State militants from a southern Libya oilfield.

They were freed after more than two weeks. Libya has descended into chaos since the 2011 ousting of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, allowing jihadists including the Islamic State group to gain ground in the oil-rich country. The country has had two rival administrations since mid-2014 when an armed alliance overran the capital, setting up its own authority. The government backed by the internationally recognized parliament fled east. — AFP