(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan brigades, supported by the UN-backed Libyan government (GNA), advanced carefully against ISIS fighters in Sirte on Monday in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties, according to the Libyan army.
A Libyan soldier was killed in the fighting on Monday, according to a source from the field hospital in sirte.
“In the face of desperate resistance” to ISIS fighters the Libyan forces made their way into Ghiza Bahriya district in Sirte.
Rida Issa, a spokesperson for the GNA-backed forces, said “there are some women and children trapped inside Ghiza Bahriya and it’s well known that they have been used as human shields by Daesh (ISIS).”
According to Issa, the Libyan brigades were able to regain control over residential buildings in the area. A group of women and children were released from ISIS captivity not too long ago.
“Our forces are trying very hard to avoid heavy weapons so as not to hurt those civilians,” he said.
Jonathan Winer, US special envoy to Libya, on Sunday tweeted, “Further gains in rooting out ISIS in Sirte, but after liberation will need to find remnants so they can never threaten Libya again.”
This comes as four individuals and 22 others were injured after a car bomb exploded in front of a coffee shop in Kesh district in Benghazi on Saturday evening, according to local news.
The GNA has spoken against the car bombing calling it a terrorist attack. The Libyan government emphasized the need for Libyans to unify their forces to ensure national security for all of Libya. The Tobruk-based Libyan parliament, also known as the House of Representatives, also condemned the attack.
Martin Kobler, the UN’s special envoy to Libya, called for an investigation into the attack and for justice to be brought to the criminals.