IS kills eight in Benghazi as US ends operations

IS kills eight in Benghazi as US ends operations
2 min read
21 December, 2016
US' Africa Command announced the end of operations against the Islamic State in Libya as a suicide bomber killed eight soldiers in the country's east.
A Libyan army tank in Sirte's al-Giza al-Bahriya district on November 21 [AFP]
An Islamic State suicide bomber killed eight troops in fighting near Benghazi, the same day the United States announced it would end operations against Islamic State (IS) in Libya.

The bomber hit forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar in Ganfouda, one of the last areas held by IS in the east of Libya.

“The fighting in Ganfouda is in its last stage, and terrorist group leaders are besieged inside,” said Ahmed al-Mosmari, a spokesperson for the army.

US operations were mostly concentrated on the town of Sirte, which was recently captured from IS by government troops, who installed a military governor last week.

“The United States Africa Command [AFRICOM] concluded Operation Odyssey Lightning December 19 following an announcement from the Libyan government of the end of offensive military operations in Sirte,” AFRICOM said in a statement.

A US spokesperson confirmed that forces would continue to support the Libyan government’s fight against IS.

Fayez al-Sarraj, leader of the Libyan Government of National Accord, told reporters on Sunday that IS had been defeated in Sirte.

US forces carried out a total of 495 strikes on IS positions in Sirte between June and December as army forces, led by the new governor of Sirte, fought to retake the city from IS.