A Dutch journalist has been killed while covering a government-backed offensive against ISIL in the group's Libyan stronghold city of Sirte, 450km east of Tripoli.

Dr Akram Gliwan, spokesman for a hospital in Misrata where pro-government fighters are treated, told AFP news agency that photographer Jeroen Oerlemans was "shot in the chest by an IS sniper while covering battles in Sirte", referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, also known as ISIS.

Gliwan said his body had been transferred to Misrata, 200km west of Sirte.

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Oerlemans was working in Libya for a number of organisations, including the Belgian weekly Knack magazine, which confirmed his death on Sunday.

A message on Knack's website said Oerlemans was shot on a reporting assignment and that the publication "wishes his family much strength".

Hundreds of people also took to social media to remember the well-respected journalist and offer condolences to his family.

Oerlemans was held hostage by ISIL with British photo journalist Jon Cantlie in 2012, but he was consequently released.

Forces allied with Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) launched an assault against the ISIL bastion in May.

ISIL fighters holed up in Sirte, the birthplace of slain Libyan leader Muammar  Gaddafi, responded with suicide bombings and sniper fire, slowing the government-backed advance.

Fighting on Sunday killed at least 10 ISIL fighters and eight pro-government fighters around Sirte, the Tripoli-based GNA said.

 

Source: Al Jazeera News And News Agencies