On October 29, ISIS attacked the village of Fuqaha in the Jufra district, leaving four dead and kidnapping at least nine others. Masked men are said to have arrived in 25 vehicles and set fire to the local police station. The assailants are reported to have searched houses for military and security personnel with the purpose of kidnapping them. Members of the 128 Brigade, under the command of Major Hassan Maatouq al-Zadma, deployed to the Jufra area in response to the attack and reportedly pursued the perpetrators into the Haruj mountains.
ISIS has since released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack and confirmed that during the raid they “searched for wanted members of the police and the army”. In the statement, they claim to have undertaken a suicide vehicle-borne explosive device attack on the 400 checkpoint between Sebha and Jufra, killing one and injuring another.
ISIS has been notably active in this area for the last 18 months. On August 4, ISIS claimed in their al-Naba newsletter (no 143) to have raided a Libyan National Army (LNA) checkpoint close to Fuqaha. The year before, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted two airstrikes against ISIS targets in the area on 17 and 19 November respectively. Furthermore, on 23 August 2017, ISIS fighters attacked an LNA checkpoint near Fuqaha, beheading eleven people – two civilians and nine LNA fighters.