Libyan forces ‘re-take Sirte port from IS militants’

Libyan forces say they have re-taken control of the port
in the city of Sirte, after fierce fighting against militants
from so-called Islamic State.
Sirte is the most significant IS stronghold outside Iraq and
Syria.
Earlier this week warplanes bombed IS positions in Sirte
while naval forces fired missiles into the port, officials said.
The offensive continues.
The forces, aligned to the UN-backed unity government in
Tripoli, began the battle to re-take the city last month.
Their spokesman, General Muhammad al-Ghusri, said
senior IS leaders had fled into the desert to the south, but
that many militants were still under siege in the city centre.
Why is Libya so lawless?
Life in Libya under IS
Clashes centred on the Ougadougou conference centre,
which was once a venue for international summits but has
now become an IS command centre.
Forces loyal to the government targeted the conference
centre with heavy artillery fire, backed by warplanes.
IS fighters responded using sniper fire, machine guns and
mortar rounds.
The government said two soldiers were killed and eight were
wounded.
Sirte was the hometown of ousted ruler Muammar Gadaffi.
The unity government was formed in Tripoli more than two
months ago.
The US said the unity government should be allowed to
arm itself against IS. Secretary of State John Kerry has said
this would be “the only way to generate the cohesion
necessary” to defeat the militants.

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