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updated: 10/5/2013 10:43 AM

Gunmen kill 15 Libyan soldiers

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Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya -- Gunmen attacked a Libyan military post southeast of the capital Tripoli early Saturday, killing 15 soldiers, an official and Libya's state news agency said.

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The attackers rode vehicles topped with machine guns, the military official said. The highway between the towns of Tarhuna and Bani Walid, on which the post was located, was closed immediately after the attack in an attempt to track down the attackers.

The official said the attack took place at Wishtata area, some 37 miles from the entrance to Bani Walid. The town was one of the last strongholds for supporters of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the country's 2011 civil war, and was besieged again by pro-government militias last year.

More recently, Libya has been hit by a months-long wave of attacks targeting military officers, activists, judges and security agents. Much of the violence is blamed on armed groups with their origins in the anti-Gadhafi rebel movement.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to the regulations.

The Libyan News Agency said another five soldiers were wounded.

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