TRIPOLI: A US air strike on a jihadist training camp in Libya killed dozens of people yesterday, probably including a senior Islamic State group operative behind attacks in Tunisia, officials said. It was the second US air raid in the violence-wracked North African country targeting the fast-expanding jihadist group in the past three months. The strike early yesterday against an IS camp near the city of Sabratha “likely killed” IS operative Noureddine Chouchane, a US official said.
A jihadist safe house was destroyed in the dawn raid about 70 km west of Tripoli, according to Hussein Al-Dawadi, an official in Sabratha near the border with Tunisia. “The raid killed 41 people who were all inside the house,” Dawadi told AFP. “The vast majority of those killed were Tunisians who were probably members of IS.” A suspect wounded in the strike said he had been taken to the camp blindfolded to train in combat, Dawadi added. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook noted that Chouchane’s death would be a significant blow to IS in Libya, adding he had been planning attacks against US and other Western interests. – AFP