Libyan Islamists claim to drive Islamic State from port stronghold

By REUTERS
June 14, 2015 17:16

TRIPOLI - A Libyan Islamist militant alliance said it had largely driven Islamic State fighters out of their stronghold city of Derna on Sunday after declaring war on the rival group last week.

Street fighting has raged for several days between members of the local Islamist umbrella group Majlis Mujahideen and Islamic State loyalists, who have been trying to increase their influence in the port city for more than a year.

Derna, a conservative city where Islamist hardliners resisted Muammar Gaddafi before his 2011 fall, was the first place Islamic State tried to gain support in Libya.

A Majlis spokesman told local Libyan Nabaa TV that more than 70 Islamic State militants had surrendered during the fighting, in which some were severely wounded.

"Ninety percent of Derna city is now under the control of Majlis," he said. "Majlis forces are dealing carefully with the snipers around the city."



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