Libyan forces lose 10 men in clashes with Islamic State near Sirte

TRIPOLI - Libyan brigades aligned with a new UN-backed government in Tripoli lost 10 men and had another 40 wounded in fighting close to the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte on Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said.

The brigades, mostly composed of fighters from the western city of Misrata, have advanced to the outskirts of Sirte over the past week and say they intend to recapture the city.

On Wednesday they had gained ground south of the city, and at a power station west of Sirte, according to statements posted on their social media accounts. They said they had faced four suicide car bombings, two of which had exploded before reaching their targets.

Western states are hoping the United Nations-backed government, which arrived in Tripoli in March, can bring together Libya's competing factions to defeat Islamic State.

The extremist group established a foothold in Libya amid political chaos and conflict in the North African state, gaining control over Sirte last year.

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