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Monday 21 October 2019

Car bomb kills 10 in eastern Libya

Guards check the burned out US consulate in Benghazi after last year's attack (AP)
Guards check the burned out US consulate in Benghazi after last year's attack (AP)

At least 10 people have died after a car bomb exploded near a hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in one of the biggest attacks since the end of the civil war that ousted former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Attackers used a remote control to detonate the explosives-laden car, which was parked outside a bakery near the city's main hospital. Weapons including Kalashnikov rifles were found inside the car.

Fathi al-Ubaidi, a top commander of Libya Shield pro-government militias, says one man has been arrested but refused to give further details.

Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, was the birthplace of the revolution that led to the death of Gaddafi and it has remained, like rest of the country, largely governed by militias in the absence of unified security and military. They refused to lay down their arms despite efforts by the Tripoli-based central government to impose law and order.

"This is meant to kill civilians and to destabilize the security of the city of Benghazi," he said.

The city has suffered a series of assassinations and car bombs over the past year as power struggles between militias intensify.

Last September the US ambassador in Libya Chris Stevens was killed along with three other Americans when militias launched two attacks on the mission and another American-run site in the city. Attacks on foreign diplomats led Western countries including Britain to withdraw their nationals from the city.

PA Media

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