Libya: Six forces slain in attack on checkpoint

Libya: Six forces slain in attack on checkpoint

An attack blamed on the Islamic State group (ISIS) left Thursday at least six forces of the interior ministry aligned with Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) dead, reports say.

The incident took place at a checkpoint laying on the highway between the town of Zilten and the Libyan capital Tripoli. Western Libya, is controlled by the forces aligned with the GNA, which has been struggling to impose its authority since it took office in March 2016.

Three attackers believed affiliated to ISIS launched a car-bomb, fire arm and a grenade attack on the outpost killing forces in a building used as a rest place by troops manning the checkpoint.

The attack was carried out with grenades and light weapons, said Zliten Mayor Moftah Ahmadi, who put the number of those killed at four, the New Arab reports.

A source at the interior ministry who asked not to be named told the media two other forces died in the early morning assault. At least two security forces had been wounded.

One of the alleged attackers, according to Ahmadi, was killed in a shootout while other two managed to flee. The interior ministry set up a high security perimeter around the town to lay hands on the two, on the run, he noted.

Zliten security chief Mohammed Abu Hajar told Libya’s al-Nabaa television that the attack was the work of the Islamic State group, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility from the jihadists, the New Arab reports.

The terrorist group entered Libya in 2014, taking advantage of power struggle among factions that followed Muammar Gaddafi’s fall. The group was flashed out in December 2016 in a GNA offensive on Sirte that the group turned into its safe haven.

Despite losing much ground, the militant organization is still active.

A similar attack targeted Zliten in 2016, when a truck laden with bombs exploded in a police training camp killing over 50 new recruits.

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