The top commander of the Libyan army’s special forces said on Monday his troops had joined forces with renegade general Khalifa Haftar, who has said he wants to purge the North African country of militant Islamists.

The announcement gives a boost to a campaign by Haftar, who has been denounced by the Tripoli government as attempting to stage a coup in the oil producer.

It had been unclear how many troops supported Haftar, whose forces launched an attack on Islamist militants in Benghazi on Friday in which more than 70 people died. […]