Surrounded, ISIS Militants Are Ramping Up Suicide Attacks in Sirte

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

Two Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) soldiers were wounded after an ISIS suicide car bombing exploded just before it reached a group of Libyan troops stationed inside of Sirte on Friday.

Last week, Government of National Accord (GNA) forces encircled the extremist group in a 15 kilometre area in the centre of the coastal city, and in retaliation, the surrounded ISIS fighters have countered with an array of suicide attacks.

Friday’s suicide bombing is reportedly the ninth suicide attack carried out by besieged ISIS fighters this week, as they intensify their efforts to regain ground.

Yesterday, the operations room media bureau stated that 10 soldiers were killed and seven wounded by an ISIS suicide car bombing at a police station in Abu Grein.

In addition, the operations room’s Facebook page also said that two other ISIS car bombings targeting Libyan troops inside of Sirte were foiled on Thursday before reaching their intended locations.

“Our forces managed to destroy two car bombs before they reached their targets,” the statement said. “The two cars had targeted positions of our forces on two fronts.”

Furthermore, Albinyan Almarsous forces announced on Monday that they had seized an ISIS arms depot and also said that the air force had launched six airstrikes against ISIS positions in the city.

The GNA’s quick advance against ISIS has stalled since Sunday after Libyan troops entered the residential neighbourhoods of Sirte, where the extremists are currently hiding along with 30,000 residents who have not yet fled the city.

There has been an increase in the number of wounded soldiers as the terrorist group, in addition to suicide attacks, is using mines, booby-trapped vehicles and snipers positioned on rooftops to target the encroaching Libyan troops in densely populated neighbourhoods.

“It was a war with planes and artillery, but now it is street fighting,” said a Libyan soldier to AFP. “We are fighting between houses, on the streets, and we won’t back down before we eliminate (ISIS).”

After some injured soldiers were unable to receive medical treatment abroad due to problems obtaining visas and other administrative issues, the GNA has set up a committee to ensure that those injured in the battle against ISIS receive adequate medical treatment both in Libya and abroad, as the hospital in Misrata has also repeatedly expressed that it is unequipped to provide the necessary medical treatment.

In addition, the joint operations room in Misrata announced that it has received six new fully equipped ambulances.

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