Sirte mass-grave found as IS pressed in the Ouagadougou centre
By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli and Benghazi, 9 July 2016:
As Misratan warplanes joined Banyan Marsous artillery attacking the main IS redoubt in Sirte, there are reports that a mass grave has been found on a farm on the southern edge of the town.
It is not yet known how many bodies have been buried in the spot near a farm building where locals are reported to have said that the terrorists took some prisoners for questioning.
The Banyoun Marsous operations room announced that ten IS fighters had died in fighting yesterday while seven Misratan fighters had been injured and taken the the city’s Central Hospital. However, Sirte field hospital said that one Misratan had also died in the fighting.
Most, if not all of the known terrorist dead yesterday were perished in an apparent attempt to break out the encirclement.
No details have yet been released of any casualties on either side during today battles. But the IS headquarters in the extensive complex of buildings that comprise the Ouagadougou Centre has been the main focus of the attacks.
There is a suspicion that the senior IS leadership has already quit Sirte. Libyan adherents, who may originally have belonged to Ansar Al-Sharia, are thought to have been changing their clothes and appearance and seeking to slip away or conceal themselves in the town. It is surmised that the remaining terrorists are largely foreigners, not least from Tunisia.
A public appeal went out today for flak jackets and ammunition. Last month the call was for drugs, anaesthetics and dressings. Misratans are increasingly bitter at what they see as the failure of Faiez Serraj and the Presidency Council to send them the supplies and armaments that they need.
The Misratan Coastguard is for instance maintaining the coastal blockade off Sirte with no help from the Libyan Navy. Moreover one coastguard commander told a journalist that no money at all was coming from Tripoli. The vessels were fuelled and kept at sea thanks to local donations, particularly from businesses.