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US Airstrike Kills 11 Militants in Southern Libya

US Airstrike Kills 11 Militants in Southern Libya

Wednesday, 25 September, 2019 - 09:30
Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, August 28, 2018 | REUTERS/Hani Amara

US forces said on Wednesday they had killed 11 suspected militants linked to ISIS in their second airstrike near the southern Libyan town of Murzuq in less than a week.

The attack, carried out on Tuesday, followed a Sept. 19 strike that the US said had killed eight suspected militants.

"This airstrike was conducted to eliminate ISIS terrorists and deny them the ability to conduct attacks on the Libyan people," Major General William Gayler, director of operations for US Africa Command, said in a statement.

Some ISIS militants retreated south into Libya's desert as the group lost its stronghold in the coastal city of Sirte at the end of 2016.

The US has said it will not allow militants to use a conflict between eastern and western-based factions around the capital Tripoli to protect themselves.

Eastern-based forces led by Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli in April, upending UN-led plans to broker a political settlement in Libya.

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