BENGHAZI, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Armed clashes broke out in Libya' s eastern city of Benghazi on Wednesday, the day for the country's parliamentary election, killing three people and wounding at least 35, according to a military source.
A local army spokesman said that government troops were attacked on Wednesday by Islamist group Rafallah al-Sahati when patrolling some polling stations. The crossfire lasted for nearly one hour.
Explosions could be heard as some warplanes were bombing the militants, witnesses said.
But Benghazi's air force commander denied that any airstrikes had been launched, adding the planes were on just reconnaissance mission for artilleries.
A Benghazi Medical Center spokesman said that they had received the bodies of three soldiers and 32 injuries, while a hospital in Hawari region said they received another three injuries.
Local media said that the Islamist militants were believed to be trying to sabotage Libya's new parliamentary election, in which a 200-seat House of Representatives is expected to be voted on.
Benghazi was the birthplace of the 2011 protests against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The city has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence and become a major base of extremists in North Africa since the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in 2012.