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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Three killed as Daesh storms town in southern Libya

Iran Press TV

Thu May 9, 2019 05:47PM

At least three people have been killed in a suspected hit-and-run attack by the Daesh terrorist group on a town in southern Libya, residents and a military official say.

They said the casualties were caused after heavily-armed militants stormed the town of Ghadwa and then retreated back into the desert.

The attack came after nine troops were killed in the city of Sebha on Saturday in an attack claimed by Daesh on a training camp belonging to the eastern Libyan forces of Khalifa Haftar.

Sebha is controlled by Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), and is 650 km south of the capital Tripoli, which the renegade general's forces are currently fighting to seize.

Following the attack, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said Haftar shouldered direct responsibility for the reemergence of Daesh.

The terrorist outfit is active in the south to where it retreated after losing its stronghold in the central city of Sirte in December 2016.

The LNA, whose power base is in eastern Libya, has been unable to break the southern defenses of Tripoli forces.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said in a statement that one senior health worker was severely wounded as he traveled in an ambulance car in a southern Tripoli district that was reportedly attacked by LNA-affiliated fighters.

The United Nations has characterized Haftar's push on Tripoli as an attempted coup and warned of a serious upshot.

Since April 4, fighting has killed at least 432 people, wounded 2,069 and displaced more than 50,000, according to the UN.

Separately, the UN migration agency said two boats carrying 214 migrants were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard late on Wednesday and taken back to the shore.

"As clashes continue in the capital, we are concerned about the return and arbitrary detention of migrants in #Libya," the International Organization for Migration said in a tweet.

The western Libyan coast is a major departure point for mainly African migrants fleeing conflict and poverty and trying to reach Italy across the Mediterranean Sea with the help of human traffickers.

Libya has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military intervention.

His ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.

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