By Libya Herald reporters.
Misrata/Tunis, 18 May 2016:
Clashes on the new front line at Al-Wishka between Misratan-led forces supporting the Presidency Council and . . .[restrict]those from the so-called Islamic State (IS) continued today with four Misratan soldiers being injured but an IS attack being repulsed and one IS vehicle destroyed, according to the new Central Region Operations Room. The injured were taken to Misrata Central Hospital for treatment.
The village of Al-Wishka, taken yesterday by the Operations Room’s mainly Misratan forces, is 25 kilometres east of Abu Grain although the Misratans say they managed to reach Checkpoint 50, which is 50 kilometres west of IS-controlled Sirte, before pulling back.
Abu Grain was retaken earlier this week. The Misratans say they also now control the road heading from Abu Grain to Jufra and the south.
Abu Grain itself has been heavily mined by IS and the operations room, set up earlier this month by the Presidency Council to fight IS, has warned residents not to return until it has been cleared. Yesterday three sappers were killed while trying to defuse a mine in the area. One of them was Colonel Ibrahim Abdul Ali. According to a friend, the former Ghwell regime’s head of foreign media Jamal Zubia, he had on many occasions called on the international community to provide mine detection equipment but there had been no response.
Four other soldiers were also killed yesterday and 19 wounded in the fighting around Al-Wishka.
Today, journalists were taken by the operations room to Abu Grain to see its condition. IS forces pulled out from the small town earlier this week. They are seen as able to launch lightening strikes but not strong enough to hold territory beyond Sirte when callanged.
Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that one of the 13 Misratans injured in earlier fighting in Abu Grain who had been air-ambulanced to Italy last week has died of his injuries. [/restrict]