By Adam Ali.
Benghazi, 31 July 2015:
It now appears that at least seven soldiers were . . .[restrict]killed and 18 were captured yesterday in a Daesh assault on a control post on the road to Tobruk, some 100 kilometres to the east of Ajdabya.
Reports unconfirmed by the Libyan army say that five members of the 21 Border Guard Battalion escaped the attack on the check point.
Five soldiers died in the initial attack and thereafter two members of an unnamed unit sent to relieve the position were also killed.
The B11 highway between Ajdabiya and Tobruk, which cuts out the long and tortuous coastal road, has in the past been notorious for the kidnapping of lorry drivers particularly Egyptians. There are roads and tracks leading south from Derna through the Jebel Al Akhdar to the highway.
Daesh fighters have been expelled from both Derna and Ajdabiya but have today been counterattacking in Derna, once their heartland. There has been speculation that the deadly assault on the army checkpoint was an attempt to cut the highway and block reinforcements coming from Tobruk to relieve Ajdabiya, where a Daesh counter-attack has long been expected. However the terrorists are less well placed to hold off the army and survive air strikes, than they are in Benghazi. In that city, the seemingly interminable fighting has seen a few well-placed marksmen hold up advances for weeks on end. [/restrict]