An explosion that rocked a busy shopping district in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday was a failed attempt to kill two intelligence commanders, official sources told Al Arabiya.
The commanders were named by the sources as Colonel Juma Alkadiki Capt. Abdel Basset al-Mabrouk, from Libya’s general public intelligence service.
A security spokesman earlier said that the bomb explosion killed the driver of a car who was carrying the device and that a passenger in the car was wounded and taken to hospital.
“The driver of the car was carrying a home made bomb when it exploded while he was leaving the vehicle. It went off killing the driver and critically injuring one passenger,” Supreme Security Committee spokesman Abdel Moneim al-Hurr told Reuters.
A Reuters journalist saw the remains of the driver inside the wrecked car. The street was closed off by dozens of police and military officials.
Gamal Abdel-Nasser is the largest and busiest street in Benghazi, home to many shops, cafes and restaurants. It is also close to one of the city’s busiest hotels, the Tebesty.
Hurr said the identities of the driver and the passenger were not known.
Benghazi has been hit by several bombings this year and attacks on international convoys and organisations including the British and U.S. missions and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Libyan government is struggling to control a myriad of armed individuals and militias that gained power during an armed conflict that ousted Muammar Qaddafi last year. Benghazi was the birthplace of the revolt.