By Meryem Kasim
SIRTE, Libya (AA) – Two soldiers were killed and seven others injured on Friday in Libya's western Sirte province during clashes between forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government and Daesh.
The unity government's information authorities, who spoke anonymously due to fears for their security, said some civilians imprisoned by Daesh in Sirte had been freed and were immediately sent to hospital, showing signs of torture.
The same sources said that although Daesh had attempted to hinder Libyan forces advancing into Sirte city center by using bomb-laden vehicles, no casualties were reported.
Earlier on Friday, forces loyal to Libya's unity government said that they had captured a coastal town near Sirte following a month-long operation aimed at retaking the north-central location from Daesh.
In a Facebook post, the unity government said its forces had managed to "liberate" Harawah, located some 70 kilometers [43 miles] east of Sirte, "after expelling Daesh fighters from the town".
The government added that its air force had also bombed Daesh strongholds inside Sirte.
One month ago, forces loyal to the unity government’s presidential council launched a major operation -- called ‘Al-Bunyan al-Marsoos’ -- against Daesh elements active in Libya’s north-central region.
Daesh overran Sirte (located some 450 kilometers east of the capital Tripoli) early last year, following the withdrawal of troops loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based government.