Libyan forces seize 'largest' IS bomb factory in Sirte
The bomb factory is the largest to be captured by fighters allied with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord [GNA] since they launched an operation to retake Sirte in May, the forces said in an online statement.
They said the building was in the south-east of Sirte, the hometown of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi which IS has controlled since June 2015.
The pro-GNA forces posted images of the building including several rooms containing explosive devices, cables and mobile phones.
The fall of Sirte, 450 kilometres east of Tripoli, would be a major blow to IS, which has recently faced a series of setbacks in Syria and Iraq.
The two-month battle for Sirte has killed around 280 pro-government fighters and wounded more than 1,500, according to medical sources at the unity forces' command centre.
|The bomb factory is the largest to be captured [Facebook]|
The pro-GNA forces are mostly made up of militias from western Libya established during the 2011 revolt that overthrew Gaddafi.
A militia set up to guard the country's main oil facilities has also been advancing on IS.
The GNA was the result of a UN-brokered power-sharing agreement struck in December, but it has yet to be endorsed by Libya's elected parliament based in the country's far east.
This week, armed groups urged Libyans to mobilise against French and other foreign troops deployed in the country, denouncing their presence as a "crusader's invasion".
The call by militias in the second city of Benghazi came after French President Francois Hollande confirmed that his country has soldiers in Libya.
In response, Libya's government has summoned the French ambassador Antoine Sivan who is based in neighbouring Tunisia for security reasons and is expected to go to Libya in the coming days to answer the summons.
Libya fell into chaos after Western air raids – including by France – drove out dictator Gaddafi.
Agencies contributed to this report