Libya troops retake Sirte area after clashes with terrorists

July 2, 2016 12:00 pm

Forces aligned with ’s new
unity government are pictured on the rooftop of a house in Sirte during
clashes with Daesh on June 30, 2016. ©Reuters

Forces loyal to the Libyan
unity government have wrested control of a district south of the city of
Sirte following heavy clashes with Takfiri Daesh terrorists, officials
say.

Mohamed Gnaidy, intelligence chief for Misrata
forces, told Reuters on Friday that the residential 700 neighborhood was
under the control of his troops who are supporting the UN-backed
Government of National Accord (GNA).
“Residential area 700 has
been liberated and as of 6 p.m. the Ouagadougou [conference] center and
the hospital are surrounded,” Gnaidy said, adding that airstrikes were
carried out on the conference hall.
Misrata forces also hit a
hideout of Daesh commanders, he noted without elaborating on how many
casualties they suffered or how long it would take to dislodge remaining
militants from Sirte.
The advance came after fierce clashes involving rockets, mortars and gun battles in the region.
According
to local officials, three pro-government forces were killed and more
than 30 others sustained injuries during Friday’s fighting to recapture
the residential 700 district.

Forces
aligned with Libya’s new unity government are pictured on the rooftop
of a house in Sirte during clashes with Daesh terrorists on June 30,
2016. ©ReutersLibyan forces launched a military
operation in May to retake Sirte, which fell to Daesh in February 2015.
They managed to enter the city on June 9 and since then, they have
liberated a number of residential districts.
Libya has been
dominated by violence since a NATO military intervention followed the
2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of longtime dictator,
Muammar Gaddafi.
The oil-rich state has had two rival
administrations since mid-2014, when militants overran the capital and
forced the parliament to flee to the country’s remote east.
The
two governments achieved a consensus on forming a unity government, the
GNA, last December after months of UN-brokered talks in Tunisia and
Morocco to restore order to the country.
Daesh, which is mainly
active in Syria and Iraq, has taken advantage of the political chaos in
Libya to increase its presence there.

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