Another bloody day in Sirte
By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli and Tunis, 15 July 2016:
The Bunyan Marsous operation to clear IS terrorists out of Sirte has had a bad day with at least 20 men killed and a 110 others injured, some of them very seriously.
Misratan forces launched an attack this morning toward the Ouagadougou Centre which, with the Ibn Sina hospital and the main section of Sirte university are, according to the operation’s spokesman Mohammed Al-Ghasri, the last significant positions held by the terrorists.
However IS claimed to gave sent two suicide bombers, a Libyan and and Egyptian in trucks toward the attackers. It seems that the resulting blasts caused the greater part of today’s dead and wounded.
The operations room showed off pictures of a third car bomb, a truck loaded down with heavy-calibre shells. The cab of the vehicle was destroyed before the driver could make it to Misratan lines.
But throughout the day, the casualties mounted. A press film cameraman was wounded in the wrist and a commander’s helmet was hit by a sniper. The helmet was badly damaged but its wearer was reportedly shaken but uninjured.
Morale among Bunyan Marsous forces appeared to remain high as they consolidated their control of residential District 700 to the south of the Ouagadougou centre. Midweek, the Government of National Accord in Tripoli sent trucks loaded with flack jackets. Frontline pictures show many fighters wearing body armour and also camouflage uniforms.
A reporter who has twice visited the front line noted that there seemed to be much less machismo and more professionalism about the mostly-Misratan forces. The Operations room back in Misrata also today warned against fighters making unrealistic claims. Social media posts from the front have in the past exaggerated the number of terrorists slain.
Meanwhile a second mass grave has begun to be exhumed in Sirte while the Petroleum Facilities Guard say that a similar burial is being unearthed in Nufaliya. The identity of the victims is not yet clear, as is how they were killed.