Last Jihadists Being Hunted Down In Libya's Sirte


Last jihadists being hunted down in Libya's Sirte

TRIPOLI, Dec 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Dec, 2016 ) - Forces loyal to Libya's unity government said Tuesday they were hunting down the last jihadists in the city of Sirte after the Islamic State group's ouster from its former bastion.

The loyalists said their soldiers were "chasing the last jihadists hiding in fewer than 10 houses" in the seafront district of Al-Giza al-Bahriya, the last to fall in the almost seven-month-long battle.

They also "managed to rescue a group of women and children that the defeated gangs of Daesh (IS) were using as human shields", the force backing the Government of National Accord (GNA) said on its Facebook page.

The pro-GNA force announced its full control of Sirte on Monday, in a major blow to the jihadists, and that dozens of IS fighters had surrendered. Sirte's fall comes as IS also faces a string of military setbacks in Syria and Iraq.

Thirteen bodies of IS fighters were found Tuesday in Al-Giza al-Bahriya's streets, the pro-GNA force said. The battle for the city, which was the last significant territory held by IS in Libya, cost the lives of nearly 700 loyalist troops and an unknown number of IS fighters.

"Today they helped many women and over 20 children, mostly infants and toddlers, who came out terrified and in dire need of medical and post-traumatic assistance", it said. Libyan television stations have since Monday been broadcasting footage of women in black and small children, their hair covered with dust, emerging from Sirte homes, and of soldiers chanting to celebrate a hard-fought victory.

"The liberation of Sirte... is an historic day for Libya that must be celebrated across the nation," a GNA vice premier, Moussa el-Koni, wrote on Twitter.