At least 10 dead as car bombs hit Libya forces near Sirte

At least 10 dead as car bombs hit Libya forces near Sirte

Tripoli: Twin car bomb attacks killed at least 10 fighters with pro-government Libyan forces today near Sirte, where they are battling to oust jihadists from the Islamic State group.

The operations centre for the forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) said another 20 of its fighters were wounded in the attacks.

A spokesman for the forces, Reda Issa, said the two attacks took place in the Gharbiyat area west of Sirte, near a centre used to distribute food, ammunition and other supplies to pro-GNA fighters.

Backed by US air strikes, pro-GNA forces are fighting to clear the last pockets of IS resistance in Sirte, ex-dictator Moamer Kadhafi’s hometown which the jihadists seized in June of last year.

Pro-GNA forces launched an offensive in mid-May to retake the coastal city, which they entered on June 9, facing heavy resistance as they moved towards the centre.

Last week the loyalists seized a conference centre in the city used by IS as its command centre, leaving the jihadists in control of only a few residential areas.

The US Africa Command said Thursday that it had carried out five more air strikes on IS targets in Sirte on Wednesday in support of the pro-GNA forces, bringing the total to 62 since August 1.