Eastern Libyan forces announce the killing of the leader of the Islamic State

Members of Libya's internationally recognised government flash victory signs after taking control of Watiya airbase, southwest of Tripoli, Libya May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed

Eastern Libyan forces were reported stating that they killed the leader of the Islamic State group in North Africa. This happened during a raid in the southern desert city of Sebha earlier this month.

A spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA) said Abu Moaz al-Iraqi was one of nine militants who were killed during the raid but was only identified afterwards.

The Islamic State in Libya was formed by the al Qaeda militants who capitalised on the chaos which characterised the country after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and seized parts of the territory and launched a series attacks.

The IS took control of the central coastal city of Sirte in early 2015 and established a presence in the vast southern desert as well as active affiliates or cells in major cities.