The Islamic State group, which has claimed two deadly attacks in Libya, moved in 2014 into the country, fertile ground for jihadists after the ouster of dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
IS has become yet another player in the lawless North African country, where rival governments and militias are already battling for control of territory and major oil reserves.
— 2014 —
– November 19: The US State Department says it is “concerned” by reports that radical extremists with avowed ties to IS are destabilising eastern Libya, having already seized vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
News reports say the eastern coastal city of Derna is emerging as an IS stronghold and has been transformed into an “Islamic emirate”.
– December 27: A car bomb claimed by IS explodes outside the diplomatic security building in Tripoli without causing casualties.
— 2015 —
– January 8: IS claims to have killed two Tunisian journalists — Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari — who went missing in September.
– January 27: IS claims an attack on Tripoli’s luxury Corinthia Hotel. Nine people are killed, including an American, a French national, a South Korean and two Filipinos.
– February 15: IS releases a video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, all but one of them Egyptians, that the jihadists say they captured in January. Egypt carries out air strikes on IS in Derna.
– February 20: IS claims suicide car bombings in Al-Qoba, near Derna, that kill 44. It says the attacks are to avenge losses in the air strikes.
– April 19: A new video shows the execution of 28 Christians originally from Ethiopia.
– June 9: IS announces it has captured Sirte, east of Tripoli. It already controlled the city’s airport.
– July 12: The group acknowledges it has been pushed out of Derna, after several weeks of fierce fighting with members of the Mujahedeen Council of the town.
– August 11: Heavy fighting erupts in Sirte, where inhabitants took up arms to fight IS, leaving dozens of people dead.
– November 5: A chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court says IS jihadists are killing more civilians in Libya than the other warring factions. IS is blamed for 27 of 37 suicide attacks in the country in the year.
– November 13: The US bombs IS leaders in Libya for the first time and says it killed Abu Nabil, an Iraqi also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi. He is identified by Libyan officials as the head of IS in Derna.
– December 4: France says it has carried out reconnaissance flights over Libya in November, notably at Sirte, and plans others.
— 2016 —
– January 4: IS launches an offensive to seize oil terminals in Ras Lanouf and Al-Sidra, which lie in an “oil crescent” along the northern coast.
– January 7: A suicide truck bomb at a police school in Zliten, east of Tripoli, kills more than 50 people, the worst attack since the 2011 revolution. A second attack kills six people at a checkpoint in Ras Lanouf. Both attacks are claimed by the IS.