One dead in US air strike in Libya


A US air strike killed a suspected Islamic State militant in Libya, US Africa Command said.

The strike on Bani Walid was carried out in co-ordination with the UN-backed government in Tripoli, it said in a statement.

It did not name what it called an “ISIS-Libya terrorist” but residents identified him as Walid Bu Hariba from Sirte where Islamic State had its main base in the North African country until 2016.

Residents earlier reported an air strike on a car in Bani Walid in which an Islamic State militant was. Photos on social media showed a white pick-up truck purportedly hit by a projectile.

Some militants sought to regroup in Libya’s vast desert and in towns such as Bani Walid, south of Tripoli.

In June, the United States said it conducted two precision air strikes near Bani Walid, killing four Islamic State militants and an al Qaeda fighter.

The United States gave air support to Libyan forces that drove Islamic State from Sirte in 2016 and continued to launch occasional strikes on suspected militants in Libya since the end of that campaign.

The Tripoli administration exercises little control in the OPEC member country, plagued by turmoil since rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.