Libya sui­cide attack claimed by Is­lamic State kills five mili­tia

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A pre-dawn sui­cide attack in north­west Libya Sun­day claimed by the Is­lamic State group killed five mem­bers of the Fajr Libya mili­tia al­liance that con­trols the cap­i­tal, the mili­tia said.

“A car sui­cide bomber blew him­self up near a check­point at an en­trance of Dafniya,” be­tween the town of Zliten and Libya’s third city Mis­rata, said a spokesman for Fajr Libya.

The attack, which oc­curred at 3:00 a.m. (0500 GMT), killed five mem­bers of Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) and wounded seven oth­ers, he added.

The LANA news agency of the mili­tia-backed Tripoli ad­min­is­tra­tion gave a sim­i­lar ac­count of the attack, and also re­ported that five were dead.

The Is­lamic State group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the attack in a tweet, iden­ti­fy­ing the sui­cide bomber as a Tu­nisian named Abu Wahib al-Tunsi.

IS also used a Twit­ter ac­count to warn Fajr Libya it was go­ing to war with it “in or­der to cleanse the land of their filth.”

Libya plunged into chaos af­ter the 2011 NATO-backed up­ris­ing that top­pled and killed long-time dic­ta­tor Moamer Kad­hafi, with battle- hard­ened for­mer rebels armed with heavy weapons carv­ing out their own fief­doms.

Fajr Libya, a coali­tion of mili­tias, in­clud­ing Is­lamists, seized power in Tripoli last year.

It in­stalled a new gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment in the cap­i­tal, prompt­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion rec­og­nized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to flee to the east of the coun­try.

Sun­day’s attack comes three days af­ter IS seized con­trol of the air­port in Sirte, a city east of Tripoli that has been the scene of months of spo­radic fight­ing be­tween the ji­hadists and Fajr Libya.

The United Na­tions has for months strug­gled to bro­ker a deal be­tween war­ring par­ties through the cre­ation of a na­tional unity gov­ern­ment.

On Satur­day night a U. N.spon­sored meet­ing in neigh­bor­ing Tu­nisia of Libyan may­ors and mu­nic­i­pal rep­re­sen­ta­tives ended with a dec­la­ra­tion call­ing for the “swift for­ma­tion of a gov­ern­ment of na­tional ac­cord.”

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