Libyan forces killed in suicide attack outside Sirte

Suicide car bomb kills 10 members of forces allied to UN-backed government and wounds seven others west of Sirte.

    The government-allied fighters face increasing resistance from ISIL in Sirte [EPA]
    The government-allied fighters face increasing resistance from ISIL in Sirte [EPA]

    A suicide car bombing has killed at least 10 members of forces allied to Libya's internationally backed government west of the coastal city of Sirte, according to hospital sources.

    Seven others were wounded in Thursday's attack which was blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

    "Ten dead and seven wounded were brought in ... after a suicide attack carried out by Daesh [an Arabic name for ISIL] in Abu Grein," 130km west of Sirte, a source at the central hospital in Misrata told the AFP news agency.

    The figures were also confirmed by hospital spokesman Abdel-Aziz Essa, who told the Associated Press that the attack took place in the early hours of Thursday.

    The UN-backed government forces have recently launched an offensive from the western city of Misrata against ISIL fighters.


    READ MORE: How serious is the ISIL threat in Libya?


    The fighting in Sirte, the final ISIL stronghold in the oil-rich country, started in early May.

    It is being led mostly by fighters from Misrata, which is aligned with the UN-brokered government based in the capital, Tripoli.

    The government-allied fighters face increasing resistance from ISIL, which has retaliated with roadside bombs and suicide attacks.

    Sirte, around 450km east of Tripoli, is strategically important because it links Libya's east and west.

    Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 revolt which toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, and ISIL has taken advantage of the chaos to seize territory along the sparsely populated central coast and expand in the country.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.