Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), a force that controls oil terminals in eastern Libya, captured a town near the country’s biggest oil port of Es Sider after clashes with militants from the so called Islamic State, Bloomberg reported.
As the divided country works to reunite factions and revive the economy and oil production, the PFG pushed the militant group back along a coastal strip they control east of their stronghold of Sirte following clashes during which five petroleum guards were killed and 18 others wounded, Reuters wrote.
The Islamic State took advantage of the security vacuum, resulted from the division of Libyan territory between east and west, to seize control of Sirte last year, extending its presence along about 250 km of coastline either side of the city. Libya, with Africa’s largest proven crude reserves, has been witnessing attacks from IS troops on some of its cities, one of which was Bin Jawad, the crossing point to the oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
Oil exports resumed earlier this month from the Hariga port in eastern Libya, easing a bottleneck and allowing for crude production to increase after an agreement was reached at talks in Vienna between rival oil officials representing the east and west of the country.