With rise of ‘Islamic State’, Fajr Libya pays the price of chaos
TRIPOLI - A pre-dawn suicide attack in northwest Libya Sunday claimed by the Islamic State group killed five members of the Fajr Libya militia alliance that controls the capital, the militia said.
"A car suicide bomber blew himself up near a checkpoint at an entrance of Dafniya," between the town of Zliten and Libya's third city Misrata, said a spokesman for Fajr Libya.
The attack, which occurred at 3:00 am (0500 GMT), killed five members of Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) and wounded seven others, he added.
The LANA news agency of the militia-backed Tripoli administration gave a similar account of the attack, and also reported that five were dead.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a tweet, identifying the suicide bomber as a Tunisian named Abu Wahib al-Tunsi.
IS also used a Twitter account to warn Fajr Libya it was going to war with it "in order to cleanse the land of their filth".
Libya plunged into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with battle-hardened former rebels armed with heavy weapons carving out their own fiefdoms.
Fajr Libya, a coalition of militias, including Islamists, seized power in Tripoli last year.
It installed a new government and parliament in the capital, prompting the administration recognised by the international community to flee to the east of the country.
Sunday's attack comes three days after IS seized control of the airport in Sirte, a city east of Tripoli that has been the scene of months of sporadic fighting between the jihadists and Fajr Libya.
The United Nations has for months struggled to broker a deal between warring parties through the creation of a national unity government.
On Saturday night a UN-sponsored meeting in neighbouring Tunisia of Libyan mayors and municipal representatives ended with a declaration calling for the "swift formation of a government of national accord".