October 29, 2015 / 6:34 PM / 2 years ago

Warplanes bomb Libya's Sirte, target Islamic State: witness

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Unidentified warplanes carried out air strikes on Libya’s Sirte city, targeting areas controlled by Islamic State militants in the south and west, a witness said on Thursday.

File photo of Libya Dawn fighters firing an artillery cannon at IS militants near Sirte March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

The strikes were the second on Islamic State in the city this month. Neither of Libya’s rival governments nor other warring factions immediately claimed responsibility.

“We heard the warplanes around midnight, then there were massive explosions,” the witness said.

There were no immediate official reports of any casualties.

Libya is caught up in a conflict between two rival governments and their armed factions, leaving a security vacuum that has allowed Islamic State militants to gain ground. They have secured a base in Sirte.

Western governments are pushing for a United Nations peace agreement to form a unity administration between the rival factions, fearing the turmoil is pushing Libya into becoming a failed state.

Reporting by Ayman Al-Warfalli; writing by Patrick Markey; editing by John Stonestreet and Tom Brown

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