Clashes in Libya’s Sirte kill 37

ISIS and armed rivals clash fiercely over Libya’s Sirte, 37 killed in action

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Archive photo shows the fighting in Libya, Sirte

Updated Aug 15, 2015

Fierce clashes on Friday, around the city of Sirte in central Libya between ISIS insurgents and rival armed groups kill at least 37, residents said.

After fighting ended, residents were successful in counting the dead bodies, after almost two days of fighting. Residents also said that the families are evacuating the city, fleeing ISIS.

Sirte, located about 500 km east of the capital Tripoli, is the birthplace of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Armed rivals are accusing ISIS of killing a prominent preacher in Sirte. The city was taken over by ISIS in February by exploiting the numerous security issues Libya is suffering, like they did in Iraq and Syria, two countries in which ISIS controls large swaths of territory.

The country has been plunged in a violent streak of unrest since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Deep political divisions and tribal rivalries yielded two separate governments, General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli and its rival House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk.

Each boasts its own institutions and military capacities.

Renewed peace talks in Geneva between the rival governments started once again last week, after previous peace talks withered in Morocco last June.

TRTWorld and agencies