DAESH terrorists kill 17 in western Libyan city of Sabratha

DAESH terrorist group kills 17 in western Libyan city of Sabratha, beheading 11 members of local security forces

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Military forces loyal to Libya's eastern government are pictured on a street in Benghazi, Libya, on February 23, 2016.

DAESH terrorist group beheaded 11 members of local security forces and killed another six in overnight clashes after they briefly entered the centre of the western Libyan city of Sabratha, local authorities said on Wednesday.

DAESH terrorists have made use of the political chaos and a lack of central authority to establish a presence in Libya, with terrorists loyal to DAESH taking control in Sirte and carrying out attacks in several other cities.

The clashes in Sabratha began as local brigades, formerly among the many rebel groups that joined in an uprising that overthrew longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, attacked suspected DAESH hideouts 15 km (9 miles) south of the city, Sabratha’s municipal council said in a statement.

The statement said the terrorists then "took advantage of the security vacuum downtown and spread out all over the city."

Sabratha's Mayor Hussein al Thwadi said that six members of the local brigades were killed in the clashes on Tuesday evening and 11 more were beheaded as DAESH terrorists entered the security directorate building in the city centre before the brigades forced them out.

A security source from the western city of Zintan said on Wednesday that authorities had agreed to treat the five wounded brigade members from Sabratha, which shows that Zintan and Sabratha may be prepared to cooperate in the fight against DAESH.

Zintan and Sabratha have been on opposite sides of Libya’s conflict, which emerged after Gaddafi was ousted. Zintan allied to the internationally recognised government now based in the country’s far east and Sabrathan forces among those that support a rival government whose armed supporters seized the capital Tripoli in 2014.

Thwadi said that local towns and cities including Zawiya and Surman had offered support against DAESH and Sabratha had urged Zintan and two other towns to cut off terrorists’ supply routes along desert roads.

The United States carried out an air strike on a suspected DAESH training camp in Sabratha on Friday, killing almost 50 people. Serbian government claimed that two Serbian diplomats abducted in Libya in November were also killed in the attack.

TRTWorld and agencies