Three-week clashes in west Libyan city cease with militia withdraw

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-07 10:06:35|Editor: Song Lifang
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TRIPOLI, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- A security force loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government on Friday took control of the western city of Sabratha after three weeks of fighting, a military source told Xinhua.

The Anti-IS Operations Room, created last year to clear Sabratha of Islamic State militants, seized most of Sabratha, located some 70 km west of the capital Tripoli, forcing rival armed groups to flee to the southern part of the city, the source told Xinhua.

Sabratha has been witnessing violent clashes between rival armed groups since mid-September.

The three-week long fighting killed more than 35 people and injured more than 200 others, according to medical sources. Thousands of families fled the violence in the city.

"We are scanning the last areas that used to be under the control of the militias. We are dealing with some buildings that are believed to have traps and mines," said the military source.

Efforts will also be made to eliminate smuggling and illegal immigration in the city, the source said.

In a statement on Friday, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj commended the control of Sabratha by the Anti-IS Operations Room, saying he was satisfied with the positive developments in Sabratha.

Libya has remained in chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The country is struggling to make a democratic transition amid political division and unrest.