Libyan militants killed attempting to flee IS-held Sirte

Libyan militants killed attempting to flee IS-held Sirte
2 min read
02 October, 2016
Libyan pro-government troops have killed ten suspected IS militants who were attempting to escape from the besieged district of Sirte still under the group's control.
LIbyan forces have cornered IS militants in Sirte [Getty]

Libyan troops killed at least 10 Islamic State group fighters as they attempted to flee the besieged districts of Sirte still under its control.

"Our forces exterminated a group from the [IS] gang that were trying to escape," said the forces in a statement.

They said their fighters had recovered the bodies of at least 10 IS fighters and were chasing another group that had fled the town, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of the capital Tripoli.

Forces allied with the Government of National Accord have cornered the group in Sirte, the birthplace of ousted dictator Muammar Gadaffi.

The offensive on Sirte launched on 12 May was initially successful, thanks in part to US air support.

But suicide bombings and sniper fire from the surrounded jihadists slowed the assault.

On Saturday, government aircraft conducted six sorties in preparation for an advance on the IS hideout in the city's east.

US aircraft have also carried out some 177 airstrikes since early August in support of anti-IS forces, according to US.

The fighting has left some 450 pro-government fighters dead and 2,500 wounded. The death toll among IS fighters is not known.

An IS defeat in Sirte would be a serious blow to the group, which has faced major setbacks in Iraq and Syria in recent months.