Libyan forces clear last Islamic State holdout in Sirte: spokesman

Fighters of Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government stand atop the ruins of a house as they are close to securing last Islamic State holdouts in Sirte

From Reuters:

“Libyan forces backed by U.S. air strikes have finished clearing the final district of the former Islamic State stronghold of Sirte in which the jihadist group had been holding out, a spokesman for the forces said on Tuesday.

A Reuters witness said fighting had ended in Sirte’s Ghiza Bahriya area, where Islamic State had been dug in for weeks at the end of a battle for the city that began in May.

Spokesman Rida Issa said forces led by brigades from Misrata had “secured all the buildings and the streets” in Ghiza Bahriya, though this did not mean the end of the Misrata-led operation. “We still need to secure the area around Sirte,” he said.

Libyan and Western officials say some Islamic State fighters escaped from Sirte before the battle or in its early stages. They fear an insurgent campaign from outside the city and there have been attacks in outlying areas.”

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