A fighter Dawn of Libya. (Photo: MEMO file)
A fighter Dawn of Libya. (Photo: MEMO file)

Tripoli, 24 Jumadil Awwal 1436/15 March 2015 (MINA) – The Islamist Dawn of Libya fighters group on Saturday launched an attack on sites belonging to Islamic State or ISIL group western the northern Libyan city of Sirte, a militia commander has said.

“Our troops launched an attack today on sites belonging to Daesh (ISIL) in al-Hawarah district in Sirte,” Mohamed Zadma told The Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

He added that the Dawn of Libya engaged in combat with nearly 150 Daesh militants supported by some 40 military vehicles.

He stopped short, however, of revealing whether there had been casualties among his troops.

Daesh – the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a militant group that has overrun vast territories in both Iraq and Syria – drew attention to its presence in Libya in early February when it released a video showing the execution of 20 Egyptian nationals along with another man from another African country.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.

Vying for legislative authority are the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the Islamist-led General National Congress, which convenes in Tripoli.

The two assemblies support two rival governments respectively headquartered in the two cities. (T/P001/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)