9 dead in suspected ISIS attack in Libya
BENGHAZI, Libya – At least 9 security service members were killed in a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) group attack in the southeastern Libyan town of Tazerbo on Friday, November 24, a senior security official said. (READ: ISIS claims anti-Haftar attack in Libya that killed 8)
Eleven other people including civilians and a security chief were also "kidnapped" by members of the extremist group, which attacked a police station in the oasis town, added the official.
The Tazerbo desert region is controlled by the forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar, who heads the self-styled National Libyan Army (ANL).
The capital Tripoli is the seat of a rival administration – the internationally-backed government led by Fayez al-Sarraj.
The attack, which has not yet been claimed, is the second in less than a month targeting forces loyal to Haftar.
The first, claimed by ISIS, killed at least 5 people in October in the central Kufra region.
Another attack in August claimed by ISIS killed 11 people including 9 members of the ANL.
Torn apart by power struggles and undermined by chronic insecurity, Libya has become a haven for jihadists since the ouster and killing of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
ISIS took advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the city of Sirte in 2015 but forces loyal to a UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) resumed control of the city in December 2016 after 8 months of deadly fighting.
Since then, some jihadists have returned to the desert in an attempt to regroup and reorganize.
In September, ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the headquarters of the Libya's National Oil Company (NOC) in the heart of Tripoli which left two dead and 10 wounded.
Four months earlier, it also claimed an attack on the electoral commission headquarters which left 14 dead. – Rappler.com