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News, May 2016
One Libyan Killed, 8 Injured in Clashes between Sert and Musrata fighters,
May 12, 2016
IS launches another attack on eastern Misrata checkpoint
By Libya Herald reporter.
Medics deal with the latest victim of IS attacks (Photo: Misrata Cental, Hospital)
Tripoli, 11 May 2016:
This evening saw yet another car bomb attack on Misrataís eastern Sadada gate and subsequent fighting in which one person died and eight others were injured. All were taken to Misrata Central Hospital. The dead man is reported to be a military commander from the cityís port brigade.
The attackers are believed to belong to the so-called Islamic State. In the past week, it has again vowed to destroy Misrata.
Sadada checkpoint, some 90 kilometres south of Misratra and not far from Abu Grain, has been the site of numerous bombings, mainly suicide attacks , by militants, the most recent being last Thursday.
Bani Walid and Misrata hospitals running out of supplies
By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 11 May 2016:
The hospital in Bani Walid has become the latest to warn that it is in crisis because of a severe shortage of medical supplies.
Equipment was also frequently breaking down and needed to be replaced, said the hospitalís director Abdullah Al-Mansouri today, according to the Libyan news agency LANA. He called on the Ministry of Health and international organisations to provide urgent help.
The situation was exacerbated, Mansouri said, by the displacement of people because of clashes elsewhere.
Some 2,500 families from Sirte and the surrounding area are reported to have fled to Bani Walid.
Three days ago, Misrata Central Hospital warned that it was running out of medical supplies and essential medications. X-ray film, for example, was all but finished, according to the head of its media office, Abdulaziz Isa. He too called on the authorities to quickly send supplies, adding that the hospital itself was now an emergency case.
The appeals follow deliveries of supplies by France and Italy to hospitals in Tripoli and Benghazi.
Western Libyan forces prepare attack on Islamic State stronghold
* Islamic State has held city of Sirte since last year
* Misrata brigades want foreign support for counter-attack
* Despite unity government, armed forces still factionalised (Updates with fresh clashes late on Wednesday)
By Ahmed Elumami
MISRATA, Libya, May 11, 2016, (Reuters) -
Forces in western Libya are preparing to advance on the city of Sirte, seized by Islamic State last year, their spokesman said, pushing ahead with plans for a counter-attack after the Islamists made territorial gains in the last week.
The fighters based in the city of Misrata would like international logistical support to help retake what has become Islamic State's most important base outside Syria and Iraq, but will not wait for it before launching the operation, they said.
"We are ready and we are preparing our security arrangements to attack Sirte," said Brigadier General Mohamed al-Gasri, spokesman for a newly formed military operations room in Misrata.
The operations room was set up by a U.N.-backed unity government, which arrived in Tripoli at the end of March.
European powers and the United States hope the unity government will be able to unite Libya's rival political groups and armed factions to take on Islamic State, though it is unclear how far its authority extends on the ground.
Misrata's brigades have largely transferred their support to it from a self-declared government formed in Tripoli in 2014.
But the unity government has struggled to win support from another administration based the east and the military forces allied to it. They have also said they would move against Sirte, though past announcements have come to nothing.
Late last month the unity government urged both sides to hold off attacking Sirte before a unified command is created, fearing an uncoordinated offensive could lead to civil war.
"We need logistical support from the international community, and we need weapons and ammunition," Gasri said. "Whether they're going to support us or not, we will be there soon. We will not stand and watch."
TRENCHES AND MINES
Islamic State took advantage of the political turmoil and security vacuum after the uprising that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi five years ago to build a power base in Libya.
The Misrata brigades were present in Sirte as Islamic State began to establish control, but withdrew last summer.
Though it has struggled to win support and hold territory in parts of Libya, Islamic State controls a strip of more than 250 km (155 miles) of Libya's central coastline, from which it has launched attacks to the east, west and south.
Over the last week it has made gains, carrying out suicide attacks in the sparsely populated area between Sirte and Misrata, including at a major checkpoint at Abu Grain.
Gasri confirmed that Islamic State took several villages in the area and that the line of defence was now at Assdada, about 80 km south of Misrata. The militants have dug trenches and planted mines around the Abu Grain checkpoint, he said.
Clashes erupted again late on Wednesday at Assdada, with one member of the security forces killed and 10 wounded, Misrata hospital spokesman Aziz Issa said. Thirteen members of the security forces were killed and 110 wounded in last week's fighting, said Gasri.
Wounded fighters at a hospital in Misrata said suicide bombers had attacked in armoured vehicles last Thursday, one of which approached a checkpoint behind cars carrying families fleeing Sirte.
Misrata brigade members fought to defend the Abu Grain checkpoint for nearly an hour but were forced to withdraw as they were outnumbered, one said.
The eastern military has made some advances against its armed opponents, including fighters loyal to Islamic State, in Benghazi, Libya's second city.
Late on Monday Islamic State said it had executed three men captured during fighting in Benghazi last month.
A hospital spokesman in Benghazi said two of those killed - including one who was beheaded - were volunteer nurses who had been helping treat wounded troops. (Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Sandra Maler)
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