ISIS executes Libyan militias after Salafist revolt, displays corpses on gibbets – reports

Islamic State jihadists in Libya have carried out a show execution of four fighters from a rival group that stirred up a revolt earlier this week aimed at toppling the militants’ regime in the city of Sirte.

Earlier this week, Libya’s Islamic State affiliate suppressed an uprising staged by a Salafist Muslim group and joined by armed locals, with the aim of ousting the terrorist group and taking back the city, located on the Mediterranean coast between the capital Tripoli and the main eastern city of Benghazi, Reuters reports. As many as 70 people have been killed in the fighting, residents said.

Four members of the rival group were executed and their bodies were hung on metal gibbets for all to see, local residents told the news agency. Unverified photos on social media showed two corpses hanging from a gibbet. The houses of those executed were destroyed.

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The clashes broke out earlier this week when the Salafists accused Islamic State fighters of killing a prominent preacher and attacked the jihadists, the Libya Observer reports.

Islamic State fighters took control of the city in February, expanding their presence in the North African country, which remains in a state of chaos following the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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A similar struggle occurred in the eastern city of Derna in June when Islamic State was ousted by rival Islamist fighters who joined forces with locals tired of foreign militants and clerics. Islamic State began an offensive last week aimed at regaining control over the city.

Sunday saw another violent outburst when an unknown gunman opened fire, aiming at the airport in Benghazi, which was closed last year because of frequent clashes between opposing groups. According to the airport’s director, a passenger terminal was severely damaged.

Following Gaddafi’s ouster four years ago, the country was divided between an elected parliament and government in the east and an Islamist militia-backed government based in Tripoli, which along with tribesmen and armed groups are all battling for dominance across the country.

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On Saturday, the official government turned to fellow Arab states, asking them to carry out aerial bombing in rebel-held Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown.

The Arab League’s emergency meeting over the situation in Libya is to take place on Tuesday in Cairo, Egyptian state television said.