By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 15 December 2014:
Islamists in Derna have formed a new coalition—the Mujahedeen Shoura Council—in preparation for what they believes is . . .[restrict]an imminent offensive by the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Preceding the official announcement of the coalition’s formation, Islamists staged a military parade through Derna, with tanks and soldiers wielding black flags representing the Islamic State (IS).
In its first statement issued Friday, the council called on all residents of Derna to join the new coalition.
Pledging solidarity with Islamist fighters in Benghazi, the group also said in the statement that it was “with (them) in the war against the criminal Hafter and his soldiers”.
Meanwhile, the battle rages in parts of Benghazi as the LNA fights to wrest the eastern town from Islamist control.
In early October, Derna’s Shoura Council of Islamic Youth (SCIY) pledged allegiance to IS, driving a wedge between itself and the town’s rival militia, the Abu Saleem Martyrs’ Brigade, who has said that it would not give its allegiance to any group outside of the country.
The SCIY has since established an Islamic court that has conducted public floggings, forced education authorities to remove all course offerings in foreign languages, physics, chemistry and biology, and had a wall built through one of the town’s university campuses to segregate male and female students. [/restrict]