At least 13 people have been killed by explosives left behind by the Islamic State extremist militia before its withdrawal from the eastern Libyan city of Derna this week, the Libyan news website al-Wasat reported Friday.
The 13 were killed Thursday as they were trying to remove explosive devices and mines planted by Islamic State in its one-time stronghold, the report said, citing an unnamed official at a local hospital.
Islamic State militants retreated from Derna on Wednesday under pressure from attacks by rival Islamists and airstrikes by forces loyal to a government based in the far-eastern city of Tobruk, according to residents and local media.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 revolt against longtime dictator Moamer Gaddafi.
Since mid-2014, the oil-rich country has been split up between two administrations – one based in Tobruk and the other in the capital Tripoli- with each backed by competing militias.
Islamic State has taken advantage of the chaos to establish a foothold in Libya.
The al-Qaeda splinter group still controls Libya’s Mediterranean city of Sirte.
A national unity government, formed under a UN-sponsored peace deal, arrived in Tripoli by sea last month amid international hopes it will be able to re-establish stability and stop Islamic State's expansion in the country.
However, the government led by lawmaker Fayez Sarraj has yet to win a vote of confidence by the elected parliament based in Tobruk before it can take power.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 22:54
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Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 01:12