Libyan forces work to secure gains against Islamic State in Sirte

By REUTERS
August 11, 2016 16:13

 
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TRIPOLI - Libyan forces on Thursday were securing and de-mining areas newly captured from Islamic State in Sirte, combing the area around a convention complex that had been a symbol of the militant group's authority in the city.

Forces aligned with Libya's UN-backed government seized the Ouagadougou convention center and several other key sites on Wednesday, advancing into areas that had been fought over for weeks.

Those forces, supported since Aug. 1 by US air strikes, said in a statement that they had taken Islamic State's "most important bastions" in its former North African stronghold.

But they have yet to gain control of several neighborhoods in central Sirte where an unknown number of militants are dug in. Eighteen government-aligned fighters were killed on Wednesday and 72 wounded, Rida Issa, a spokesman for the Sirte operation, said.

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