By Seif al-Din al-Trabulsi
TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) – At least 30 soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing near Libya’s northern city of Sirte.
A Daesh terrorist on Wednesday detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at government forces 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Sirte, the unity government’s media center said in a statement.
According to the statement, 30 soldiers were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack.
Last month, forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government launched an offensive to recapture Sirte from Daesh.
Since 2015, Sirte has been held by Daesh, which took advantage of the conflict between Libya’s rival political camps to seize 250 kilometers (roughly 155 miles) of coastline near the Mediterranean city, which lies between Libya’s eastern and western power bases.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that 49 people have been executed by Daesh in Sirte since February 2015.
Libya has been locked in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli, each of which boasts its own military capacity and legislative assembly.
Late last year, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement to establish a unity government in an effort to resolve the country’s six-year political standoff.