Seven government troops were killed and scores injured on Sunday in battles with Daesh militants in Libya’s northern Sirte city, reported Anadolu Agency.
“Seven [soldiers] were killed and 52 others injured in clashes with Daesh militants,” Mohamed al-Ghosri, a spokesman for the Libyan government’s anti-Daesh operations, told Anadolu Agency.
For weeks, government forces have been battling Daesh militants in an effort to recapture the city, which was overrun by the group in 2015.
Last week, government forces reported major gains in Sirte, seizing control of several Daesh sites, including the group’s radio headquarters.
Daesh militants are now encircled in Sirte’s central residential neighborhoods.
“Fighting inside neighborhood Number Two is still raging on,” al-Ghosri said.
He attributed casualties among government forces to “the mortar shells and RPGs fired by Daesh militants”.
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.