By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Benghazi, 13 June 2015:
The Shoura Council of Mujahideen in Derna (SCMD), which has been involved in heavy fighting . . .[restrict]in the town with the Islamic State (IS) since Tuesday, is reported to now control most of it and to have captured and hanged its IS commander, Abu Ali Al-Anbari. An Iraqi, he was yesterday reported to being besieged by SCMD forces.
SCMD is also understood to have taken a large number of IS prisoners, including its “governor” (wali) of Cyrenaica. These are said to have been separated into Libyan and non-Libyan members with the latter being paraded on trucks around the town. Other IS forces are said to have retreated to the IS base at Ras Hillal, 45 kilometres to the west.
There are also reports that Sufian Ben Qumo, the leader of Ansar Al-Sharia in Derna, who has thrown his lot in with IS, is besieged in the Lamis area by SCMD.
During the day three suicide bombs exploded, one near the town’s Al-Sahaba Mosque, another near the Old Mosque and the last near a popular restaurant. At least three people are said to have been killed and seven injured. IS are believed to have been responsible.
“Three cars exploded in al-Maghar and Jabila streets in the center of the town,” Emad Mabsut, a local resident told the Libya Herald. He added that residents of Shaiha district had taken control of Derna hospital and that there had been an appeal for people to go and donate blood supplies and for doctors to attend to the many wounded fighters.
SCMD meanwhile says it has taken a town centre hotel used by IS which had had snipers on the roof. As well as snipers, IS had been reported to be carrying out random shelling in the town.
Other sources in Derna said that the SCMD, ideologically linked to Al-Qaeda, now controlled all access points and had now cut the supply lines between IS in Ras Hilal and those members still stuck in the town.
IS has been losing ground in Derna to the SCMD after the latter declared jihad against it at the beginning of the week in response to the murder of two of its commanders.
Reuters reported that yesterday seven protestors demonstrating against IS were shot dead and 30 wounded when IS gunmen opened fire on them. It also reported that a LNA plane attacked the port after IS forces had tried to evacuate their wounded by boat.