Car Bomb Kills 3, Wounds 20 in Libya

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, February 6, 2015

A car bomb killed a man and a child, as well as the driver, and wounded around 20 in Libya's second biggest city, Benghazi on Friday, medics and military officials said.

The car exploded as it was being driven towards an army tank base and ammunitions store. The vehicle had apparently exploded earlier than intended as it had not yet reached the base, military officials said.

"It was a suicide bomber," said Fadel al-Hassi, a senior army special forces commander.

The explosion happened in the Lithi neighborhood where pro-government forces have been fighting Islamist groups for months. On Thursday, the two sides battled over control of the
port district.

The fighting in the eastern city mirrors a wider struggle across the oil-producing North African state where two governments and parliaments, allied to rival armed groups, are fighting.

Backed by forces led by General Khalifa Haftar, army special forces in mid-October launched an offensive against Islamists in Benghazi, expelling them from the airport area and from several
camps the army had lost during the summer.

Army forces in eastern Libya are loyal to internationally-recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, who was forced to leave the capital Tripoli in the west in August for the eastern
city of Bayda when Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) militants seized the capital.

In recent days clashes in Libya have intensified. On Tuesday, 16 Libyan soldiers were killed and 38 wounded in clashes around eastern Islamist strongholds in Derna and Sidra.

On the same day, unidentified gunmen attacked a remote oilfield in central Libya, killing 12 and kidnapping seven foreign workers.

The violence followed an assault on a hotel in Tripoli on January 27 that killed nine people, including five foreigners, underscoring the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

More than three years after Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in a NATO-backed revolt in 2011, the country remains awash with weapons and powerful militias.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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