Tripoli: At least eight members of Libyan pro-government forces were killed today during a fresh offensive on Islamic State group holdouts in the jihadists' stronghold of Sirte, a medical source said.
Forces supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA) - Libya's UN-backed, Tripoli-based administration - launched a bid to retake the city from IS six months ago.
They quickly seized large chunks of the city, but the offensive slowed amid an effort to avoid losses and to protect civilians still trapped by the jihadists.
A hospital where pro-GNA forces are treated said today that it had received eight dead and 26 wounded fighters.
The loyalist forces' press centre said on its Facebook page that IS had carried out two suicide attacks. It added that a woman had opened fire as troops tried to secure an escape for her from a house retaken from the militants.
Pro-GNA fighters said they had taken around 30 buildings from IS in Sirte, the former hometown of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, which is around 450 kilometres east of Tripoli.
Six months of fighting have left nearly 700 GNA fighters dead and 3,000 wounded. The death toll for the jihadists is not known.