TRIPOLI, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Heavy clashes broke out in the eastern Libyan city of Darna on Thursday between the eastern-based army forces and militants in the city, killing five soldiers and six militants, according to medical and military sources.
"The hospital received six bodies of members of the Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Darna, while an unknown number of others were wounded and could not be counted because they were taken to private hospitals," a medical source from Al-Wahda hospital in Darna told Xinhua later Thursday.
The source added that the casualties were the result of Thursday's clashes.
"Five soldiers were killed in clashes with terrorists and landmines they (militants) left before fleeing," an official of the army's Darna operations chamber said.
"The eastern town of Shiha in Darna witnessed violent clashes. The army made limited progress, waiting for clearing the planted mines that prevent the progress of the army forces," the source told Xinhua.
The army is launching a military operation to take over Darna from the militants who control the coastal city.
Since 2015, Darna has been besieged by the army, which demands the Shura Council members to leave.
Humanitarian coordinator of the UN Support Mission in Libya Maria Ribeiro on Thursday called on the army to allow humanitarian aid to enter Darna.