By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 30 July 2015:
The army is making slow progress in its assaults against the remaining Daesh positions in . . .[restrict]Benghazi. There have been airstrikes and heavy fighting in Sabri and Suq Al-Hoot today as troops try to winkle out militants who have clung on in the districts.
In the last 48 hours four soldiers have been killed and at least 28 wounded in the fighting.
According to a well-informed observer on the ground, a significant problem continues to be terrorist snipers. Despite the bitter experience of the recent weeks of fighting, Libyan army formations are still struggling with the business of house-to-house fighting. Deadly booby traps left by the terrorists after they have apparently withdrawn have had a demoralising effect on the soldiers.
Meanwhile well-placed terrorist marksmen have been able to hold up the advance of entire formations. Airstrikes have helped clear the way, but the enthusiasm of young but ill-trained soldiers has not been able to make up for the lack of skilled urban fighting. As with earlier combats in the city, the main source of advances has been the near-obliteration of districts held by the enemy.
The Libya Herald has been told that in the wake of the suicide bomber who on Wednesday concealed himself on Omer Abin Alass street among refugees fleeing the fighting, troops have become “jumpy and nervous”. The mood of the soldiers has not been improved by the capture and beheading today of one of their number in the Sabri fighting, the crime being disseminated on social media.
This evening Daesh forces launched a counterattack in Leithi after the district had been relatively quiet for the last few days. At the moment, it is unclear how the assault, which was widely anticipated, is progressing. The key position remains Nubs Square which the army has clearly failed to secure, despite driving militants out of most of the buildings surrounding it. [/restrict]