Last Updated: Mon Aug 20, 2012 08:37 am (KSA) 05:37 am (GMT)

Libya says ex-regime members responsible for Eid bombings, arrests cell

Libyan security forces had announced plans to safeguard the capital during Eid, saying that there had been threats of attacks since last Ramadan. (Reuters)
Libyan security forces had announced plans to safeguard the capital during Eid, saying that there had been threats of attacks since last Ramadan. (Reuters)

Libyan government sources told Al Arabiya on Monday that members belonging to the toppled regime of slain President Muammar Qaddafi were responsible for the twin attacks that struck the Libyan capital on the first day of Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The twin attacks in Tripoli early Sunday killed at least two people as Libyans started the religious occasion of Eid al-Fitr. The occasion is also the first for the Libyan government to celebrate since it came to power in elections earlier this year.

The government sources said a cell made of 32 members from the former regime have been arrested.

On Sunday, a rocket attack or car bomb hit Libya's Interior Ministry, while a car bomb was detonated near a women’s police academy, located on one of Tripoli’s main streets, Omar al-Mukhtar.

A security official told an Al Arabiya correspondent that at least two people were in the attacks.

“Two explosions struck at dawn, the first near the academy on Omar al-Mokhtar street, the second near the interior ministry,” the security official said.

“There were two dead and several wounded,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The interior ministry was damaged when it was attacked by rocket propelled grenades, the Al Arabiya correspondent reported. However a Reuters report cited a security official saying the blast near the ministry was also car bomb.

Libyan security forces had announced plans to safeguard the capital during Eid, saying that there had been threats of attacks since last Ramadan.

It was the first time there have been deaths from blasts in Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi last year, which ushered elections and promises of reforms.

Violence has still been a problem despite Libya’s peaceful power handover after its elections in July, the first in decades following the end of 42 years of one-man rule under Qaddafi.

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