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Dutch journalist killed in fighting in Libya’s Sirte: medic


Tripoli: A Dutch journalist was killed today while covering a government-backed offensive against the Islamic State group in their Libyan stronghold city of Sirte, a doctor said.

Dr Akram Gliwan, spokesman for a hospital in Misrata where pro-government fighters are treated, told AFP that photographer Jeroen Oerlemans was “shot in the chest by an IS sniper while covering battles in Sirte” 450 kilometres east of Tripoli.

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

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

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

Forces allied with Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord launched an assault against the jihadist bastion in May.

IS fighters holed up in Sirte, the birthplace of ousted Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, responded with suicide bombings and sniper fire, slowing the government-backed advance.

Fighting today killed at least 10 IS fighters and eight pro-government fighters around Sirte, the unity government in Tripoli said.

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