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IS suicide attack kills five fighters from Fajr Libya

IS offensive against Fajr Libya alliance in Dafniya comes after forces loyal to Tripoli administration attacked IS positions in Sirte
A Libyan man waves his national flag in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi on 27 February, 2015 (AFP)

A pre-dawn suicide attack in northwest Libya Sunday claimed by the Islamic State group killed five members of the Fajr Libya militia alliance that controls the capital, spokesman for the alliance said.

"A car suicide bomber blew himself up near a checkpoint at an entrance of Dafniya," between the town of Zliten and Libya's third city Misrata, said the Fajr Libya spokesman.

The attack, which occurred at 3:00 am (0500 GMT), killed five members of the alliance and wounded seven others, he added.

The LANA news agency of the Tripoli administration, gave a similar account of the attack, and also reporting that five were dead.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, identifying the suicide bomber as a Tunisian named Abu Wahib al-Tunsi.

Sunday's attack comes three days after IS seized control of the airport in Sirte, a city east of Tripoli that has been the scene of months of sporadic fighting between IS militants and Fajr Libya.

Mohamed Zadma, who is leading the security operation in Sirte, told Anadolu Agency last week that his forces had been "hunting down" IS militants near a number of government buildings in Sirte.

IS militants have taken advantage of the chaos since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi to establish a foothold in Libya.

The country's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.

Vying for legislative authority are the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the General National Congress, which convenes in capital Tripoli.

The two assemblies support two rival governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.

The United Nations has for months struggled to broker a deal between warring parties through the creation of a national unity government.

On Saturday night a UN-sponsored meeting in neighbouring Tunisia of Libyan mayors and municipal representatives ended with a declaration calling for the "swift formation of a government of national accord".