Libyan gov’t warns of continued IS threat to national security

Libyan UN-backed government said on Monday that Islamic State (IS) militant group remains a threat to the national security despite its defeat in the city of Sirte in late 2016.

“The liberation of Sirte did not eliminate the terrorist organization completely,” the government said in a statement on the second anniversary of its victory over the IS in Sirte.

“Some IS members have escaped, trying to regroup in other areas. There are also cells that await opportunities to carry out criminal operations,” the statement added.

The Libyan government also called for uniting the country’s army to defeat terrorism.

“Our war on terrorism will not end without uprooting it,” it noted.

Sirte, located some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli, witnessed a vicious war in 2016 between the government forces and IS militants.

The fighting lasted more than eight months, killing more than 700 government troops and over 2,000 IS militants.