Libya – Conflict – ISIS – Minister

Former Govt. Minister Killed in Libya ISIS Clashes: Report

Former Govt. Minister Killed in Libya ISIS Clashes: Report
Sun May 22, 2016 18:52:18

A Libyan former minister was killed in clashes between unity government forces and fighters of the Islamic State (Daesh / ISIS / ISIL) terrorist group in the Sirte area, the LANA news agency reported Sunday.

Mohammed Soualem, labor minister in Ali Zeidan’s government from 2012 to 2014, “was directing military operations against ISIS” at the time, said the agency loyal to the North African country’s new unity government.

He was killed in fighting in the Abu Grein area, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Sirte, the terrorist group’s main stronghold in Libya and hometown of late dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

“The clashes cost the life of Commander Mohammed Soualem and wounded five fighters,” LANA reported.

“Air units in support of this operation succeeded in destroying dozens of vehicles” used by ISIS “and wounded several” terrorists, it said.

Last Tuesday, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord said they had retaken the key town of Abu Grein from ISIS.

GNA troops and forces of the rival government based in the east of the country and loyal to General Khalifa Haftar are engaged in a race to be first to eject ISIS from Sirte, 400 kilometers east of Tripoli.

The rivalry between the two factions is a major cause of international concern which sees it as jeopardizing anti-terrorist efforts.

The GNA, recognized by the international community and based in Tripoli for the past month and a half, is trying to assert its authority over a country plagued by divisions and the terrorist threat, AFP reported.

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