Libya Unity Government Pleads for Arms to Fight IS
Libya's unity government urged the international community Thursday to accelerate the arming of its forces after 32 of its fighters were killed in clashes with jihadists and a car bombing.
The United States, Italy and Libya's allies and neighbors agreed in Vienna on Monday to exempt the Government of National Accord (GNA) from a U.N. arms embargo to help it confront the threat from the Islamic State (IS) group.
The GNA urged the international community "to take responsibility and to accelerate the implementation of its promises" including the exemption to the embargo on weapons sales, in a statement published on its Facebook page.
It comes as IS seeks to expand westwards out of its stronghold Sirte on the Mediterranean coast which it has controlled since last June.
The jihadist group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's bombing which according to the military killed at least seven people in Buairat el-Hassun, 60 kilometers (35 miles) west of Sirte.
IS said the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers -- a Sudanese fighter and another foreigner whose nationality was not given.
Twenty-five other members of forces loyal to the GNA were killed in fighting with IS in Abu Grein, a key crossroads further west, the military said.
Libya was left with two rival administrations after a militia alliance took over Tripoli in mid-2014, setting up its own authority and forcing the elected parliament to flee to Tobruk in the country's far east.
The Tripoli-based unity government, formed under a December power-sharing deal agreed by some lawmakers from both sides, has announced the formation of a new military command to take charge of the battle against IS.
But armed forces loyal to the other government based in the far east are also preparing to battle IS.