Thirty-two fighters loyal to Libya’s unity government were killed in clashes with ISIL Takfiri terrorists and a car bombing Wednesday near the ISIL stronghold of Sirte, the military said.
Thirty-two fighters loyal to Libya's unity government were killed in clashes with ISIL Takfiri terrorists and a car bombing Wednesday near the ISIL stronghold of Sirte, the military said.
"The toll of today's martyrs reached 32, and 50 others were wounded," the operations room set up by the new Government of National Unity (GNA) said on its Facebook page and Twitter account late Wednesday, updating an earlier toll of 18 dead.
Of the earlier toll, seven died in a car bomb attack in Buairat el-Hassun, 60 kilometers west of Sirte and the others were killed in an ISIL foray in Abu Grein, further west, that the GNA recaptured on Tuesday.
GNA on Tuesday called for warplanes to bomb ISIL after world powers showed readiness to arm it.
On Monday, the United States, Italy and Libya's allies and neighbors agreed in Vienna to arm the GNA to confront the threat from ISIL.
Clashes on Tuesday claimed the lives of seven members of the GNA forces and wounded 15.
ISIL overran Abu Grein on May 5 as part of a series of forays into territory controlled by the UN-backed government, including a deadly attack a week later on a checkpoint at Saddada, 50 kilometers to the west.
The latest fighting comes as ISIL seeks to expand westwards out of Sirte, slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi's hometown on the Mediterranean coast, which it has controlled since last June.
Europe fears theTakfiris could use Sirte's port and airport as a springboard to attack the continent.
The international community, particularly European powers, are also concerned about a stream of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya's unsecured coast.