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Country Report Libya

  • ID: 2101513
  • July 2015
  • Region: Libya
  • 25 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Libya witnessed three weeks of deadly militancy by Islamic State (IS) affiliates in July. At least ten civilians were killed in a spate of car bombings in eastern Libya, and scores of foreigners were kidnapped, in the latest wave of terrorist violence perpetrated by the jihadi group. This comes weeks after IS acknowledged defeat in its former stronghold-the city of Derna, in eastern Libya-which was taken over by a rival Islamist faction in mid-June. However, this loss of territory does not necessarily signal a diminishing IS threat in the country.

The expulsion of IS from Derna was a surprisingly development as it involved intense fighting between the group and other jihadi factions that are ideologically similar. Derna is now predominantly under the control of the al-Qaida-affiliated Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, which continued to control parts of the town throughout the period of IS dominance.

Despite losing Derna, IS has made progress in opening up a route by which to threaten Libya's oil infrastructure in the west and the oil-rich east of the country. Three separate car bombs exploded in Derna simultaneously on July 3rd, according to Hamid al-Bandag, Derna's representative of the internationally recognised government of Abdullah al-Thinni, which sits in the remote eastern city of Bayda. More recently, IS also claimed responsibility for the killing of Taher Allush, a senior intelligence official from Libya Dawn, a group of predominantly Islamist militias affiliated to the self-declared National Salvation Government, an unofficial, Islamist government based in Tripoli. Mr Allush was the target of a car bomb attack later in July in the town of Misurata in the north-west, in which six others were injured.

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Country Report Libya

Islamic State retains its strength despite recent setbacks
IS threat remains relevant
IS stakes more claims to oil wealth

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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