Africa

Islamic State fighters in Libya battle militia near Sirte

Map showing the Libyan cities of Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirte and Egypt's capital Cairo - 3 December 2015

Fighting has been raging in Libya between Islamic State (IS) fighters and a militia alliance from the west of the country, near the city of Sirte.

A spokesman for militia brigades told the BBC that two of their men had been killed in the clashes.

Jihadists affiliated to Islamic State seized government buildings and a state radio station in Sirte last month.

Their main base is in eastern Libya where the elected government and army have battled extremists for months.

In February, a video was released appearing to show the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped by IS militants in Sirte.

The country has been beset by chaos since the overthrow and death of Col Muammar Gaddafi, with powerful militia alliances in the east and west fighting for control of territory and resources.

Militia forces and the self-proclaimed government ruling western Libya deny IS has a significant presence in Libya, saying the fighters are former Gaddafi loyalists.