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Libya government forces 'repulse twin attacks' on Sirte

LIBYA GOVERNMENT FORCES REPULSE TWIN ATTACKS ON SIRTE

Forces loyal to Libya's Tripoli-based UN-backed unity government on Thursday announced they had repulsed two attacks -- one by Daesh and another by forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar -- in the north-central city of Sirte.

"Our forces are fully prepared to meet any additional attacks by Daesh remnants or Al-Karama militiamen [i.e., pro-Haftar forces]," forces affiliated with the unity government said in a statement published on their official Facebook page.

According to the same statement, the two attacks in Sirte -- which occurred Wednesday evening -- were aimed at "destabilizing the city and threatening its security".

They went on to say that, while pro-government forces had been preparing to confront an assault by Daesh terrorists south of Sirte, they had come under attack by pro-Haftar forces from the nearby Al-Heniwah and Abu Hadi districts on the city's outskirts.

"But our forces managed to repulse both attacks," the statement read, adding that no casualties had been sustained in the melee.

Based in the city of Tobruk, pro-Haftar forces have yet to comment on the assertions.

Libya has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody popular uprising ended with the ouster and death of former President Muammar Gaddafi.

In the wake of Gaddafi's departure, the country's stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of government -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of competing armed groups.

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