By Ajnadin Mustafa, Ayman Majid and Adam Ali.
Tripoli/Benghazi, 11 August 2015:
Clashes have been taking place throughout the day in Sirte between . . .[restrict]locals and fighters from the Islamic State (IS) which has controlled the town for the past three months. At least ten IS men are said to have been killed so far. Reports speak of fighting around the university and the port, and of the town’s residential area No. 3 being cleared of IS forces.
The fighting started after IS was said to have killed an imam outside his home. Khalid bin Rajab Ferjani, the imam at the town’s Cordoba Mosque and a Salafist, was killed on Monday. Incensed, Salafists and members of the Farjan tribe then pledged to destroy IS. They were then joined by members of the Qaddadfa tribe.
(In Libya, the term “Salafist” is used to describe pious and deeply spirtual Muslims; it a term of respect. Salafists have been targeted both by IS and Ansar Al Sharia.)
Both the Libyan airforce based in Benghazi and Misrata have also added their support to the uprising. Misrata Military Council has said that forces are heading east towards Sirte and had already retaken Checkpoint 50 from which it withdrew in June.
Meanwhile, aircraft belonging to the Libyan National Army have attacked IS positions in the town this evening. An IS convoy of 50 vehicles heading from the IS base at Nufaliya to provide reinforcements in Sirte was bombed. [/restrict]