An ISIS suicide bomb attack which targeted a Misratan court complex in the centre of the city on 4 October, killed four people and wounded several more after ISIS fighters opened fire on the complex and one attacked detonated a suicide belt. Local support of security forces in clamping down against militia members connected with terrorist organizations is rising. It is reported that an ISIS cell was arrested and its armory, including high power explosives, was found in the Ruwaisat area.

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Misrata Counter Terrorism Unit arrested a senior member of the BDB, Ahmed Bakir, for alleged cooperation with ISIS and supplying foreign mercenaries to extremist groups. The CT unit also released a ‘confessions’ video of senior BRSC affiliate, Mohammed al-Khafifi, admitting membership in ISIS and claiming that his group had cooperated with the BDB in a number of suicide attacks

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On 27 August, Serraj met with Sudanese president Bashir and they agreed to cooperate on security issues with a particular emphasis on fighting terrorism and border security. Misratan security forces arrested Usama Jadhran in Misrata for his alleged membership of Ansar al-Sharia and connections with ISIS.

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On 13 August, a delegation of Misratan power brokers and senior BM figures travelled to Qatar to meet with Qatari officials. Media reports say Qatar is prepared to support the BM’s military operations in addition to logistical support. The conflict between the LNA and DMSC deescalated slightly as the LNA eased the full siege it enacted on Derna two weeks ago, but new airstrikes on DMSC positions in the west of the city indicate a potential for re-escalation.

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On 1-3 August, Egypt facilitated mediation talks between LNA and Misratan delegations in Cairo. A understanding between both delegations hinged on respect of Libya’s unity and sovereignty, efforts to avoid bloodshed, build a civilian state, discard all kinds of foreign intervention and fight terrorism and criminal groups, including militias.

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On 25 July, LNA Commander Haftar and GNA PM Serraj have ‘committed to a ceasefire’ with promises to use force for counter-terrorism efforts only, and to work towards holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the Spring of 2018. Misrata and other Islamist-affiliated members of the PC fear they might loose their role in Libyan power politics if the HCS is dissolved as an interim institution in exchange for new parliamentary and presidential elections.

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On 28 June, two ISIS captives being held in Misrata, one Libyan and the other Egyptian, were said to have escaped from the military intelligence agency. In Sabri, the LNA discovered the remains of an LNA officer killed by ISIS in an execution video.

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On 2 July, 16 senior political figures from Misrata attended a high profile meeting in Egypt at the invitation of the Egyptian Chief of Staff and the Foreign Minister. On 28 June, Libya’s eastern foreign minister visited Russia to discuss options for a new Libyan-Libyan dialogue

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On 17 June, a convoy of anti-GNA militias from Misrata attempted to deploy to Tripoli. However, they reportedly became divided among themselves, cancelled the deployment and most of them drove back to Misrata. On 15 June, 46 HoR members formed a new bloc called the ‘National Consensus Bloc’.

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A variety of Misratan entities united against the BDB last week, banning them from entering Misrata armed and demanding they surrender weapons and handover their leader. Werfalli published another execution video, while the LNA seized the Libya Shield base in Souq al-Hout.

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On 5 June, the anti-crime unit of Misrata’s security forces released a recording that claims to show the ‘confessions’ of an ISIS fighter known as Aseeda. In the video, Aseeda describes ISIS and BRSC cooperation in Benghazi, including over a bank robbery.

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On 7 May, ISIS claimed responsibility for an ambush of GNA-affiliated Misratan Third Force fighters 100km south-west of Sirte. In Benghazi, the LNA published the execution video of an Algerian ISIS fighter captured in Sabri.

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The Misratan Third Force retook the Gweirat al-Mal checkpoint from the LNA, while LNA fighters conducted airstrikes against Jufra airbase, injuring the head of Misrata Military Council. This lead to calls for all Misratans to mobilize against Haftar in the south, while protests were held in the south calling for Misrata to withdraw.

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New hostilities between Misratan forces and the LNA threaten to destabilize southern Libya and weaken the GNA. Deputy PM Musa al-Koni resigned his position on the PC, saying it had failed the Libyan people, while the PC agreed the new 2017 Libyan budget and issued some major security decisions.

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BRSC and ISIS suicide bombers attacked LNA fighters in Benghazi last week, even as gains were made in Ganfuda, and a video was found showing links between the Ansar al-Sharia groups in Libya and Tunisia. In Misrata, BM forces attacked BDB forces who had retreated to a camp in the city while LNA forces killed a high profile BDB commander during airstrikes in Jufra.

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