TRIPOLI: Forces allied with Libya's unity government said Saturday they had recaptured the port in the jihadist stronghold of Sirte from Islamic State group fighters who are surrounded inside the city.
The forces also retook a residential area in the east of Sirte, the main IS base in the North African country, a spokesman for the forces, Rida Issa, told AFP.
The fall of Sirte, the hometown of ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, would be a major setback to the extremists who have also lost territory in Syria and Iraq where they have declared an Islamic "caliphate".
Libya's unity government forces are waging fierce street battled with the jihadists around a sprawling Kadhafi-era conference centre which once hosted international summits but now houses an IS command centre.
Warplanes have carried out air strikes around the centre and other IS positions inside the city, according to social media accounts belonging to the anti-jihadist operation.
Eleven members of the forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) were killed and 45 wounded on Friday, mostly by sniper fire, Issa said.