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Local Libyan forces clear Sabratha of Daesh terrorists

24 February 2016 15:06



Libya’s local military brigades have forced Daesh terrorists out of Sabratha after the Takfiri militants briefly entered the center of the northwestern city in the crisis-hit African country, authorities say.

Sabratha’s municipal council said in a statement on Wednesday that the fighting broke out after local brigades attacked suspected Daesh hideouts 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the city.

The Daesh elements then “took advantage of the security vacuum downtown and spread out all over the city” before they were forced out by the local brigades, the statement added.

Sabratha’s mayor also stated late on Tuesday that the clashes had left at least four brigade members dead and five others wounded.

However, local media reported that as many as 17 brigade troops were killed.

Meanwhile, an unnamed security source from the western city of Zintan said authorities had agreed to treat the injured brigade members from Sabratha.

Since August 2014, when militias seized the capital Tripoli, oil-rich Libya has had two parliaments and two governments with one, the General National Congress (GNC), run by the rebels in the capital, and the internationally-recognized administration in Tobruk. A UN-backed government of national unity is awaiting parliamentary approval.

The city of Zintan has allied with the internationally recognized government while Sabratha supports the rival administration.

On Friday, the US carried out an airstrike on a suspected Daesh training camp in Sabratha, killing almost 50 people, among them two Serbian diplomats abducted in Libya last November.

Libyans gather next to debris at the site of a suspected Daesh training camp targeted in a US airstrike near Sabratha, Libya, on February 19, 2016. ©AFP

Daesh took control of Libya’s northern port city of Sirte in June 2015, almost four months after it announced its presence in the city, and made it the first city to be ruled by the militant group outside of Iraq and Syria.

Since then, the group has been boosting its presence in the violence-wracked country, particularly after the Iraqi and Syrian army advances against militants.

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