Suicide bomber kills 3 in Libya’s Derna

Libya Dawn fighters look at Islamic State (IS) militant positions near Sirte March 19, 2015. (Reuters)

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Libyan city of Derna on Saturday, killing at least three people and wounding five more as rival militants fought on the streets, local residents said.

Officials could not confirm the blast in Derna, which is at the center of internecine fighting between Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants and a rival brigade of Islamist groups battling for control of the city.

Residents said ISIS loyalists and Islamist umbrella group Majlis al-Shura had been fighting since last week.

ISIS has thrived in the North African oil producer since two rival governments began fighting for control, leaving a security vacuum four years after the civil war that ended the rule of Muammar Qaddafi.

European states have grown particularly alarmed at ISIS' expansion beyond its strongholds in Iraq and Syria to a chaotic country just over the Mediterranean.

Nine suspected ISIS members were killed during separate clashes on Friday with other Islamist groups, a source in one of those movements said.

Seven people were also shot dead on Friday at a protest against ISIS. Demonstrators, angered at foreign fighters coming in to join the militant group, started marching towards its main base when gunmen opened fire into the crowd, several residents told Reuters.

The fighting in Derna, a long-time gathering point for jihadists, erupted last week after a Majlis al-Shura leader was killed. The group, which is linked to former rebel groups who fought Qaddafi and enjoys local support going back to the revolution, responded by declaring holy war against Islamic
State in the city.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55