Local sources have reported clashes in Benghazi after the return of the former 'defence minister Mahdi Al-Barghathi to his hometown.

The clashes reportedly erupted in the Al-Salmani Al-Sharqi neighbourhood close to Al-Barghathi's residence.

Sources close to his family told local press that Al-Barghathi's return is peaceful and has no intention of destabilizing security, as promoted by Haftar's media.

The former commander of the 204 Tank Battalion in Benghazi became the defence minister of the Tripoli-based government led by Fayez Al-Saraj in 2016.

In 2019, Al-Barghathi opposed Haftar's war on Tripoli, urging the "people in Cyrenaica" to withdraw their sons from the battle, as it "was not against terrorists as claimed" by the aggressors.

Amid the conflicting reports of his arrest, the eastern authorities made no official statement to clarify the issue.

Meanwhile, some people outside of Benghazi have reported difficulty in contacting their relatives within the city.

For his part, the Director of Digital Media at the Telecommunications Holding Company, Muhammad Al-Badiri, confirmed in press statements that communications had been cut off from Benghazi.

Al-Badiri told a local news agency that fibre optic cables had been cut in more than one path and that maintenance teams were working to repair the damage.

Two weeks ago, communications were also disrupted in Derna amid an arrest campaign targeting activists who blamed the eastern authorities for the collapse of the dams, which led to a high toll of flood casualties.