US warplanes carried out air strikes early on Friday morning on militants from the ISIS terrorist group in the western Libyan city of Sabratha, killing as many as 41 people, the city’s mayor said.
US officials said the targets included an ISIS training camp and Noureddine Chouchane, a senior Tunisian extremist leader who is linked to two attacks in Tunisia last year, including an attack that killed 30 Britons.
US Defence Secretary Ash Carter last week said the US would continue to strike militants in Libya.
The planes struck at 3.30 a.m. (0130 GMT), targeting a building in the Qasr Talil district where foreign workers were living, Reuters reported citing Hussein al-Thwadi. He said 41 people had been killed and six injured. The death toll could not immediately be confirmed with other officials.
Chouchane, 36, was identified by Tunisian authorities as one of the suspects in the massacre of tourists at the Bardo Museum in Tunis last March in which 23 people were killed, most of them Westerners.
Sabratha lies on the Mediterranean coast near the Tunisian border, about 40 miles west of Tripoli. It is home to a UNESCO-protected archaeological site of Roman ruins. Western officials say it is one of the areas where ISIS militants had some presence as part of their expansion in the North African state.
The gunmen who executed the attacks at a Tunis museum and a beach hotel last year, leaving dozens of people killed, all trained at militant camps in Libya before returning to their home country.
Friday’s air strikes targeted a senior Tunisian operative involved in both of last year’s attacks, which were claimed by ISIS, the New York Times reported citing the Western official.