Mass grave of IS fighters unearthed in Libya's Sirte

Mass grave of IS fighters unearthed in Libya's Sirte
Seventy-five corpses, of what are believed to be Islamic State fighters, were recently discovered in the coastal city of Sirtre.
2 min read
10 October, 2018
Mass grave uncovered in Benghazi in 2017 [Getty]
A mass grave with 75 bodies, believed to be Islamic State fighters, was discovered in Sirte in western Libya, an official said Wednesday. 

The mass grave was uncovered in an agricultural area of al-Daheir, west of Sirte, which was an area previously held by the Islamic State before the group was overran there.

The city's municipal spokesman Mohamad al-Amial said "seventy-five decomposed bodies were recovered" in the presence of the public prosecutor, Sirte's security force and the Red Crescent aid group. 

Amial said the find was made "a few days ago" and that while the bodies were believed to be of Islamic State members there was no confirmation.

Islamic State fighters overran Sirte, 375 miles east of Libya's capital Tripoli, in June 2015. 

But forces of Libya's UN-backed unity government expelled the jihadi group from the coastal city in December 2016 after eight months of deadly combat. The group has since pulled back to desert outposts.

IS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month on the Tripoli headquarters of Libya's National Oil Corporation that killed two staffers as well as an assault in May on the country's electoral commission in which 14 people died.

The group took advantage of the anarchy in Libya after the NATO-backed overthrow and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 to establish footholds in several parts of the country.

Since their defeat in Sirte, the jihadis have kept up the fight from rural areas of western Libya. In April, the Tripoli-based unity government launched a campaign to flush them out.

The Islamic State group remains a potent force in Libya. It has established training centres and operational headquarters in central and southern Libya, despite being pushed out of Sirte and Derna. 

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