Libya’s Tripoli-based government on Sunday called for an armed “mobilization” against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group after the militants claimed a suicide bombing that killed five fighters allied to the government.
A statement by the Tripoli government, which is not recognized by the international community, urged “officers, soldiers... and all security forces and revolutionaries to mobilize” against ISIS.
It also urged the international community to help it fight the “takfiri” (Sunni radical) extremist group, saying it posed a “big threat” to Libya’s security.
“The Tripoli government is determined to continue fighting extremism and criminal gangs who operate under what is known as the Islamic State [ISIS] until they are uprooted,” the statement added.
It came hours after ISIS claimed a suicide bomb attack against the militia alliance Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) that installed the Tripoli government, killing five of its fighters.
The dawn blast in northwest Libya is the latest in a series of attacks by ISIS in the politically divided North African country, where the militants have exploited chaos to gain a growing foothold.
“A car suicide bomber blew himself up near a checkpoint at an entrance of Dafniya,” between the town of Zliten and Libya’s third city Misrata, said a spokesman for Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn).
The attack killed five fighters and wounded seven others, he added.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a message posted on Twitter, identifying the suicide bomber as a Tunisian named Abu Wahib al-Tunsi.
The militant group also warned Fajr Libya to be ready for “war.”
“The apostates of Fajr Libya... must know that a war is coming to cleanse the land of their filth unless they repent and go back to their true religion,” said the extremist group.
Libya plunged into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with battle-hardened former rebels armed with heavy weapons carving out their own fiefdoms.
Fajr Libya seized power in Tripoli last year, installing a new government and parliament in the capital opposed to the administration recognized by the international community and elected legislature.
- ISIS seizes control of airport in Libya’s Sirte
- ISIS claims suicide bombing in Libya’s Misrata
- Libya Islamists battle ISIS near Sirte
- Saving Ethiopians in Libya: Egyptian humanitarianism or politics?
- One killed, seven wounded in suicide bombing in eastern Libya
- ICC prosecutor wants probe of ISIS in Libya
- Tunis protesters seek ‘truth’ about reporters’ fate
- ISIS kills two Tunisian reporters kidnapped last year in Libya