By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 15 August 2015:
The army said that it had retaken ground lost yesterday to IS fighters on the . . .[restrict]edge of Benghazi’s Sabri district but admitted nine of its men had been killed.
The Bou Ashreen building, seized in yesterday’s surprise attack, has been reduced almost to rubble by airstrikes. Snipers had quickly operated from the top floors.
Military spokesman Major Mohamed Hejazi gave a brief press conference this afternoon not far from where theruins. He said that the tank which had been captured by IS yesterday had also been destroyed.
Hejazi insisted that the IS attempt to break into Sabri had been halted.
The dead soldiers were mostly from Beida. A young girl was also killed by a mortar round fired from IS lines. He did not say how many soldiers or civilians may have been injured.
As usual there are no clear figures for IS casualties. This evening there were unconfirmed social media reports that two senior Ansar Sharia figures, Habib Bin Yizah and Abdulsalam Agoori had been killed in yesterday’s engagement.
It is estimated that IS and its allies have some 80 fighters in Sabri. It may be that Friday’s assault was designed not to relieve and resupply them but rather to evacuate them.
By one analysis the IS-led grouping is running short of men. This would explain the fact that in recent weeks, almost without exception, the terrorists have focused on just one of the contested areas, Leithi, Boutani, Hawari, Bouatni, Boudhima and the key small port at Mreisa have all seen little or no fighting in recent days. [/restrict]