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Libyan forces seize Sirte's Campo neighbourhood from Islamic State

Libyan forces seize Sirte's Campo neighbourhood from Islamic State


Libyan pro-government forces seized the Campo neighbourhood in Sirte from Islamic State control on Sunday.

After six months of fighting, backed by U.S. air strikes, Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli are close to clearing out the last remnants of the militant group from the former hometown of dead leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“Today, Bonyan Marsous forces advanced from all angles and Campo neighbourhood was freed, and we are currently on the outskirts of Ghiza Bahariya,” one of the fighters told Reuters.

The U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is struggling to expand its influence over powerful brigades of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who control different areas of the country.

Forces from the port city of Misrata began a campaign to retake Sirte six months ago, taking heavy casualties to recapture the city. But their progress advanced with the support of U.S. air strikes and small teams of Western special forces advising on the ground.

Islamic State is keeping back Misrata forces with snipers and booby-traps in one remaining district.

The fall of Sirte would be another blow to Islamic State just as the militant group comes under pressure in its main territory of Syria and Iraq, where it has also lost ground.