British special forces praised for stopping IS suicide attack in Libya


British special forces blew up an Islamic State suicide truck in Libya earlier this month, a military commander there has said.

The strike apparently came when a vehicle, acting as a bomb,  approached a bridge leading towards the city of Misrata in the north-west of the country.

UK forces appeared ready for the attack and fired a single missile during the incident on May 12, Commander Mohammed Durat told The Times.

Describing the scene as the truck sped forward he said: "Our British friends seemed quite calm about it that day."

Commander Durat, of Misrata's Third Force, said the special forces had plotted the co-ordinates and ranges required for a successful strike, telling the paper: "It blew up the suicide truck with a huge explosion, the biggest we have seen yet.

"Not one of our own forces was killed."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said they do not comment on special forces operations.

Last month a spokesman for the Foreign Office said the UK is focused on training Libyan security forces to provide their own security, and has no plans to deploy ground troops.

Earlier this year United Nations experts said they believe the political and security vacuum in Libya is being exploited by IS, reporting it has "significantly expanded" the territory it controls in the nation and become "increasingly attractive to foreign fighters".

Middle East minister Tobias Ellwood said the current estimate of the number of Islamic State fighters in Libya is between 3,000 and 6,000.