By Libya Herald Staff.
Tripoli, 20 March 2015:
Misratan-led Shooruq (Sunrise) forces have retaken much of Nawafliya and . . .[restrict]secured a portion of the coastal road to the east of Sirte.
Speaking at a press conference last night Shooruq spokesman Ismail Shukri told reporters that Misratan forces, principally from 166 Battalion, had reentered Nawafliya yesterday morning. He said the troops had made considerable gains but had not yet completely secured the area.
Two buildings in Nawafliya were destroyed in the assault with unconfirmed reports that Misratan forces were able to take a number of militants captive during the fighting.
Pushing the majority of IS fighters to the south, Shukri said Misrata now had control of the costal road 75 kilometres to the east of Sirte towards Sidra. Nawafliya lies roughly 60 kilometres to the west of Sidra, which is under the control of Petroleum Facilities Guards, loyal to the internationally recognised government in Beida.
The worst of the fighting between IS and 166 Battalion took place 110 kilometres to the east of Sirte where three Shooruq fighters were lightly injured. Shukri said after an exchange of heavy weapon fire IS forces had fled the area.
Ten troops from the Misratan-led Shooruq operation were killed in a raid by Islamic State (IS) forces on a checkpoint near Nawafliya two days ago.
Fighting has raged in and around Sirte for six days with dozens killed in the clashes. It is the first time Misratan forces, led by 166 Battalion, have confronted the extremist group in the town.
IS took control of the Sirte months ago with a tacit ceasefire in effect between Misrata and the militants. Since that ceasefire has come to an end, refugees have been streaming out of Sirte to avoid getting caught up in the violence.
Since the initial day of fighting in Sirte between IS and Misratan forces, IS has retaliated with two bomb attacks in Tripoli and is believed to have orchestrated a third bombing on a 166 Battalion base in the outskirts of Misrata.