Monday, 24/2/2020 | 11:04 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire


TRIPOLI, -- A suicide bomber killed three people at a field hospital for forces fighting Daesh in their Libyan coastal stronghold of Sirte on Sunday, a security source said, and medical staff appealed for help in treating the wounded.

The bomber also wounded seven others and caused extensive damage to the hospital, about 50 km from the front line, the source said. Two other attempted suicide bombings just outside the centre of Sirte did not cause casualties, he said.

Brigades aligned with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord have made rapid advances over the past month. This week they entered Sirte, engaging Daesh militants in street battles keeping up air strikes against them.

The brigades, made up mainly of fighters from the western city of Misrata, have faced suicide bombings, snipers and mines. At least 120 brigade members have been killed and more than 500 wounded, security and hospital officials say.

Daesh took advantage of lawlessness and political chaos to expand into Libya from late 2014. It has launched attacks at numerous sites along Libya's Mediterranean coastline but Sirte is the only city where it has taken full control.

Libyan forces have retaken parts of Sirte from Daesh militants, gaining ground in the extremist group's most significant stronghold outside Syria and Iraq, according to a Libyan military group.

However, Libyan forces encountered fierce resistance Sunday, which included three suicide car bombs. One detonated near a field hospital in the city, according to the media wing of Al-Bunyan al-Marsous, a military offensive led by Libyan forces from Misrata.

In the ongoing offensive, forces supporting the U.N.-brokered government gained control of a port late Friday after fierce clashes with Daesh militants and are in complete control of the al-Sarawa area east of Sirte, the group added.

The offensive that has lasted almost two weeks has left more than a hundred fighters dead and about 400 others wounded, the Government of National Accord said, calling on the international community to provide urgent medical support to Libyan security forces.

The force reopened a road between Sirte and a village around 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) east after sweeping for and removing improvised explosive devices, while the country's air force carried out six raids against the militants and their weaponry in Buhari, 3 kilometers to Sirte's south, according to Al-Bunyan al-Marsous.

Sirte, a port city on the Mediterranean coast, was best known as Moammar Gadhafi's hometown before it fell into the hands of Daesh.

U.S. officials estimate there are 4,000 to 6,000 Daesh militants in the country, and there are likely to be hundreds in Sirte.

Source: Name News Network