Libya: blast rocks Benghazi-based Ahrar TV

Reports suggest several people were wounded in the explosion

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An explosion rocked the headquarters of Libyan television channel Ahrar, based in the eastern city of Benghazi, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Local media reports said several television employees were wounded in the attack, for which no party has claimed responsibility.
The attack came hours after a bomb rocked the playground of a primary school in Benghazi during recess, wounding 12 children.

Witnesses said the bomb was thrown over the school wall while the children were playing.

Medics said two of the injured children were in serious condition.

Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Qaddafi, has seen near-daily attacks on security and other targets in recent months as the weak central government has tried to rein in former rebel brigades turned militias.

Six children suffering “light to moderate” injuries were admitted to the city’s al-Jala hospital, spokeswoman Fadia al-Barghathi said, according to AFP.

Another medical official said six other children, two in serious condition, were taken to Benghazi medical center, AFP added.

A security official described the force of the explosion as “weak” and said a hunt was underway for those behind the attack, for which no one immediately claimed responsibility.

“Witnesses saw an individual throw an explosive device over the school wall during recess,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Eastern Libya has become a bastion of Islamist extremists, with authorities avoiding a full-blown confrontation with heavily armed former rebels pending the formation of a regular army and police force.

The uprising against Qaddafi left Libya awash in weapons looted from his vast arsenals, complicating government efforts to rein in former rebels who effectively control much of the country.

In Tripoli, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has faced criticism from Islamist MPs demanding his resignation, accusing him of failing to improve security.

Zeidan was himself kidnapped by gunmen and held for several hours in October.

Deputy industry minister Hassan al-Droui was assassinated in Kadhafi’s hometown of Sirte on January 12, while the convoy of interior minister Seddik Abdelkarim came under fire last week on the road to the airport.

[With AFP]

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