Libya – Conflict – ISIS

ISIS Kills 4 Libyan Troops in New Sudden Attacks from Stronghold

ISIS Kills 4 Libyan Troops in New Sudden Attacks from Stronghold
Thu May 12, 2016 17:38:00

Islamic State (Daesh / ISIS) group terrorists, including two suicide bombers, killed four Libyan soldiers and wounded 24 in their latest foray into territory controlled by the UN-backed government, the army said Thursday.

Wednesday evening’s attack on a highway checkpoint in the desert interior comes after the terrorists thrust west along the Mediterranean coast from their stronghold of Sirte earlier this month, overrunning a major crossroads.

The checkpoint at Saddada lies 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the Abu Grein crossroads and marks a new advance into territory held by forces loyal to the unity government in Tripoli.

“Two suicide bombers, one in a vehicle and one on a motorbike, blew themselves up at the checkpoint where troops had gathered and clashes then broke out between our forces and the ISIS fighters,” a spokesman for the anti-ISIS operations command told AFP.

Libya’s LANA news agency said the ensuing fighting went on for six hours.

Abu Grein, where the highway along the Mediterranean coast meets the main road south into the desert interior, lies 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Misrata and its capture by ISIS prompted militia in Libya’s third city to mobilize.

Saddada is just 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Misrata.

It is 190 kilometers (120 miles) from Sirte, the hometown of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi which ISIS overran in June last year and has since transformed into a training camp for Libyan and foreign militants.

With its port and airport, there are fears the terrorists could use the city as a staging post for attacks on European soil.

The group is estimated to have around 5,000 fighters in Libya, and is trying to attract hundreds more.

Western powers including the United States, Britain and France have openly considered international military intervention in Libya against ISIS.

They have expressed strong support for the UN-backed unity government which has slowly asserted its authority in Tripoli since the end of March, AFP reported.

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