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Shooting, bombing rattle Libya’s restive east

Benghazi has seen a string of attacks on security forces

Published: Updated:

A Libyan security forces member was killed Monday in the eastern city of Benghazi and a bomb exploded at the headquarters of a jihadist group without causing casualties, officials said.

The volatile city -- cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-ruling dictator Muammar Qaddafi -- has seen a string of attacks on security forces in recent days following deadly clashes between the army and the jihadist militia, known as Ansar al-Sharia.

Unknown gunmen shot dead Mosbah al-Kabaeli in the city center, said Hussein Ben Hamid, an official with his unit, which is under the authority of the defense ministry. The Al-Jala hospital confirmed the death of the 21-year-old, who was shot in the head.

During the night, a charity clinic run by Ansar al-Sharia was struck by a roadside bomb, a member of the group told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that no one was hurt in the attack.

Libya’s weak central government has struggled to assert control over a scores of militias made up of former rebels who helped topple Qaddafi.

A week ago deadly clashes erupted between the heavily armed Ansar al-Sharia and Libyan troops, with seven people killed and more than 50 wounded.

Ansar al-Sharia is suspected of being behind the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, which left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.

The group has denied any involvement in the incident.