Garabulli explosion Libya Isis 2016
The remains of a burnt car after a suicide car bomber hit a Libyan police station west of the besieged Islamic State stronghold of Sirte on 16 June. An explosion east of Tripoli on 21 June has killed dozensREUTERS/Stringer

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed after a huge explosion ripped through an ammunition dump in a town east of Tripoli. The explosion followed a dispute between local people and members of Isis which had resulted in the militants leaving the area.

Eyewitnesses said the blast in Garabulli occurred as locals were entering the depot, although it is unclear why they were doing so. Around 30 people are thought to have been injured. Mohamed Assayed, a municipal official in Garabulli told Reuters: "The number of casualties is rising and we are working hard to transfer them to nearest hospitals."

One Garabulli resident said locals fell out with Isis after a militant refused to settle a bill in a local shop. The clashes between locals and the armed thugs snowballed and locals even blocked the main road between Tripoli and Misrata in protest. Other reports claim the dispute was between shopkeepers and border guards.

Isis have made parts of Libya their stronghold with reports that many have fled to the north African country which is already riven by strife to escape from the conflict in Syria.

CIA director John Brennan said last week he calculated there were around 5,000-8,000 Isis fighters in the country.

The UK, US and partners have launched airstrikes against suspected Isis leaders in Libya. However US Africa Command chief Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhause had to deny in the Senate on Tuesday (21 June) that there was any overall grand strategy to beat Isis in Libya.

Formerly known as Castleverde, Garabulli, 50 km (30 miles) east of Tripoli and 140 km west of Isis stronghold Sirte, has been used by migrants attempting to reach Europe, many of whom have died in the process. Isis are believed to be controlling people-smuggling operations in some coastal regions.