Air strike in Libya hits convoy outside IS stronghold

Tripoli (AFP) –


A strike by an unidentified aircraft hit a convoy outside a Libyan stronghold of the Islamic State jihadist group on Sunday, officials said.

"A convoy was hit by an air strike" outside the coastal city of Sirte, a colonel with the air force loyal to the Tripoli administration said.

"It is believed that it was an IS convoy, but the target has not yet been identified," he said.

"This air strike was not coordinated with our government," he added.

A member of the security committee of the city's municipal council said the convoy left Sirte and was then targeted "about 150 kilometres (95 miles) southwest of the city".

"It was completely destroyed," he said.

He had no immediate word on the death toll.

On February 19, a US air strike near Sabratha, west of Tripoli, targeted a suspected IS training camp, killing 50 people.

IS have taken advantage of the chaos since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi to spread its influence in the oil-rich country.

Last June, the group seized Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte, raising fears that it is establishing a new stronghold on Europe's doorstep.

Libya has had two rival administrations since the internationally recognised government fled Tripoli in mid-2014, after the Fajr Libya militia alliance overran the capital and set up its own parliament.