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Four Libyan soldiers killed in clashes with IS near Misrata

Four Libyan soldiers killed in clashes with IS near Misrata

Libya

Four members of military forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed government have been killed in clashes with Islamic State (IS) fighters near the western city of Misrata.

30 others were wounded in clashes, hospital officials have said.

Fighting has reportedly been raging in Assdada, around 80 kilometers south of Misrata since IS militants captured several villages and checkpoints in the area late last week.

Assdada is also more than 150 kilometers west of Sirte, which has been the stronghold of the Islamic State in the widely lawless North African country since last year.

Libyan security forces who visited the scene of the attack on Thursday saw a large crater in the ground from heavy explosive fire.

A large part of brigades based in Misrata support the new unity government which arrived in Tripoli late March. Fayez al-Sarraj’s administration is in the process of stamping its authority on the country, beyond its current base in Tripoli.

Western powers are hoping the new unity government will be able to unite Libya’s rival political and armed factions to enable them take on the Islamic State.

But the UN-backed government has struggled to win support of the rival administration based in the east as well as its allied military forces.

The Islamic State controls a strip of more than 250 km of Libya’s central Mediterranean coastline from which it has launched attacks to the east, west and south of the country.

Reuters

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