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19 dead in clashes with ISIS in Libya’s Sirte

Sirte was an ISIS stronghold before forces loyal to the country's Government of National Accord launched their offensive n May

Published: Updated:

Ten militants and nine pro-government fighters died in clashes on Thursday around the last positions of the ISIS group in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, medical and military sources said.

“Our forces are advancing on the last holdouts of Daesh” in the only district of Sirte still held by ISIS, said the media office of the pro-government fighters.

Three car bombs driven bythe militants were destroyed before reaching their targets, it said.

Stronghold

Sirte was an ISIS stronghold before forces loyal to the country's Government of National Accord launched an offensive against the militants in May.

The hospital in Misrata, a town half-way between Sirte and Tripoli, to which casualties are ferried, said on Facebook that nine pro-GNA fighters were killed and 40 wounded.

Loyalist military sources said at least 10 ISIS militants also died in the latest bout of the four-month-old battle.

Suicide bombings and sniper fire from the cornered militants have slowed the offensive to retake Sirte, 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

More than 450 members of the loyalist forces have been killed and around 2,500 wounded since the operation began. Losses in ISIS ranks remain unknown.