Former residents of the Libyan city of Sirte displaced by the Islamic State have slowly began returning to their homes.
Following a campaign by forces loyal to Libya’s UN backed government to root out the insurgents, families are returning to areas liberated from the Islamic State.
The troops have been engaging in fierce battles with the Islamic State to flush them out of their stronghold.
“Our mission is to protect the coastal road and secure the road from Misrata to Sirte as well as to secure the return of families to the liberated areas. We are also searching for vehicles carrying large quantities of (black market) fuel, for fear that they may be smuggling it to Islamic State, as well as to stop those selling at raised prices,” said Faraj Salem Ammar, a Libyan military official.
According to a spokesman for the Libyan forces, more than 300 fighters from the brigades have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded since the campaign for Sirte began in May.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant asserted its presence in Sirte, the hometown of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2015.