Libyan Army Pursues ISIS Remnants in Desert

Libyan Army Pursues ISIS Remnants in Desert

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 09:00
A group of Libyan National Army forces entering the city of Derna in June. (Army site)
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar
The Libyan National Army has said that it is pursuing ISIS remnants in the desert of the city of Kufra in southeastern Libya, following deadly terrorist attacks in the area.

Spokesman for the Libyan National Army, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Mismari, said on Wednesday that forces are pursuing terrorists in the desert, adding that the extremists are looking for safe havens to escape army shelling and air raids.

The Libyan south is described as a hotbed of terrorist groups, African mercenaries and smuggling gangs in the absence of a security system that protects the country's vast borders.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on towns south of the country since its withdrawal to the desert after losing the coastal city of Sirte, its main stronghold in 2016.

The terrorist organization killed nine people, injured 10 others and abducted a number of policemen and civilians in its latest attack on Tazerbo in the southern desert on November 25.

However, the town’s residents fought for hours with the militants, who took over the police station before being expelled.

Following the Tazerbo attack, Commander of the Kufra military district Brigadier Belqasem al-Abaaj announced that the army had managed to defeat and expel remnants of the extremist groups more than 400 kilometers from the town.

"The extremist organization doesn’t have any chance to repeat its attacks on villages and towns located east of the country, which is under the protection of the armed forces," Abaaj said.

He pointed out that losses incurred by the militants in their recent battle with army forces in Tazerbo have dealt a blow to the organization’s financial and military capabilities.

Meanwhile, the permanent military court in Benghazi sentenced three people to death in absentia and one person to life in prison, without mentioning their names or the charges issued against them.

"The trials took place in the presence of the defendants' lawyers," Mismari told a news conference in Benghazi on Wednesday.

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