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Iran Press TV

Libya's GNA forces free 13 foreigners in Sirte

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:33PM

Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed government have managed to release 13 foreigners, most of them female Eritreans, from the captivity of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the north of the country.

Rida Issa, a spokesman for the pro-government forces, said on Saturday that the foreigners, freed during the battle for the liberation of the city of Sirte, also included a Turkish national and an Egyptian.

Issa said the forces had recaptured most areas in Sirte following six months of street-by-street fighting. Daesh, he added, only controls a tiny part of the city with snipers, booby traps and car bombs.

"The forces have completely recaptured the 600 block area in Sirte from gangs of Daesh, and now the Ghiza Bahriya area is the last pocket of resistance," said Issa.

Sirte fell into the hands of Daesh more than a year ago. The city has been the main bastion of the Takfiri group outside Iraq and Syria. Daesh has already suffered heavy blows in those two countries.

Forces battling Daesh in Libya are allied to the Government of National Accord (GNA), which enjoys the support of the United Nations and Western governments. However, fierce opposition to the GNA from major Libyan factions has undermined hopes for a decisive victory against Daesh.

Chaos in Libya, which erupted after the ouster and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, has apparently enabled refugee smugglers to operate more freely, which has prompted concerns in Europe about the continuing flow of refugees from Libya into the continent.

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