At least 32 fighters loyal to the UN-backed Libyan unity government were killed in the past two days, with another 50 wounded in fighting around the Abu Grein crossroads, which they claimed to have captured early Tuesday.
The Abu Grein crossroads are an area of empty desert and the highway interchange linking Misrata and the ISIS capital of Sirte. ISIS had captured the area recently from fighters loyal to the Misrata militia, and there have been several incidents of fighting since then.
This is the first major fighting attributed to the unity government’s forces, as they are considered to have relatively few fighters and previously haven’t strayed much beyond their naval base in Tripoli.
The unity government forces reported 18 killed earlier in the day, but revised it upward later. Most were killed in fighting, with seven also slain in a car bomb attack nearby, again by ISIS forces.