Suspected ISIL Takfiris seize university in Sirte: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The alleged ISIL militants parade through the streets of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, February 18, 2015. ©AFP

The university in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte has reportedly been captured by militants claiming to be members of the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.

According to a professor of the university, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the militants suspended the classes and postponed the exams following the seizure on Thursday.

The move came a day after dozens of gunmen, who brandished the ISIL’s flag, paraded through the streets of the city. The militants were heavily armed, the reports said.

Earlier in the month, the alleged ISIL militants seized a state-run radio station in Sirte. A former local official said the militants also established a headquarters in the city center.

ISIL terror gains momentum in Libya

On February 15, the Takfiri ISIL group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. The Egyptians, whose photos were published in the latest online edition of the ISIL magazine, Dabiq, had reportedly been abducted in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in two attacks in December and January last year.

Also in January, alleged ISIL gunmen stormed Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, killing nine people, including a Frenchman and a US security consultant.

Last month, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni warned that Libya may turn into a safe haven for the Takfiri ISIL terrorists, who currently control swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, thus posing a significant challenge to the security and stability of the world.

Source of conflict

Libya’s government and elected parliament moved to Tobruk after an armed group from Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August.

The new Tripoli rulers have set up a rival parliament and government not recognized by the international community.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.

The country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups that refuse to lay down arms. The groups are now turning their guns on each other in an attempt to dominate politics and the country’s vast oil resources.


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