Pro-Islamic State Insurgents Seize Libyan University

CAIRO  (Reuters) -

Insurgents claiming loyalty to Islamic State have seized the university in the central Libyan city of Sirte, residents said on Thursday, days after a video showed them staging a convoy parade.

Islamist terrorists have made inroads into parts of the North African oil-producing country, exploiting a power vacuum created by a violent struggle for control between two competing governments.

On Monday Egyptian planes struck suspected Islamic State targets in eastern Libya, after the group released a video showing the execution of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Sirte.

On Wednesday Egypt and the official Libyan government asked the United Nations Security Council to lift an arms embargo and help build up the army to tackle the jihadists.

“The group took control of the university yesterday,” a Sirte resident said, asking not to be named. A picture posted on social media showed an Islamic State flag at the university’s entrance.

“Two days ago they had already seized the city’s administrative complex and expelled all employees.”

Sirte residents said the insurgents had also taken over a radio station and other government buildings. A video on social media showed a convoy of vehicles flying Islamic State flags apparently driving through the city.