Libyan forces push into last Islamic State area in Sirte

By REUTERS
October 10, 2016 13:32

 
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TRIPOLI - Libyan pro-government forces are advancing into the last area controlled by Islamic State in the coastal city of Sirte, surrounding the militants after a five-month campaign backed by US air strikes, military officials say.

At least eight pro-government fighters were killed over the weekend as their forces pushed into the 600 block, an area in central Sirte, with snipers and boobytraps posing the main obstacles to their advance, the officials said.

A Reuters reporter on the ground said forces advanced across two streets on Sunday, but were facing resistance and discovering explosive devices in many buildings.

Islamic State took over Sirte a year ago, exploiting the chaos and violence that have dogged Libya since the overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 in order to carve out a new base, far from its main territory in Iraq and Syria.

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