ISIS claims deadly bombings in eastern Libya

The bombings in the eastern city of Qubbah killed at least 45 people

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility Friday for the triple car bombings in eastern Libya that left at least 45 people killed and more than 50 wounded.

In a statement released by Libya's ISIS branch, the suicide bombings in the city of Qubbah were said to have targeted the forces of General Khalifa Haftar "in revenge for the blood of our Muslim people in the city of Derna," a statement by suspected ISIS militants said.

The air force of the eastern-based government responded with air strikes on suspected militant positions in the city of Derna where members of ISIS are believed to be active.

Earlier today, parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh said the bombs appeared to have been militant retaliation for Egyptian air strikes on nearby Derna, an ISIS stronghold.

On Monday, Egypt launched air strikes on suspected ISIS targets in Derna, a day after the group released a video showing the execution of Egyptian Coptic Christian workers.

Three bombs exploded on Friday at a petrol station, the local security headquarters and the town council headquarters in Qubbah, which is Saleh's hometown.

"We are announcing seven days of mourning for the victims of Qubbah," Saleh told Al Arabiya News Channe. "I think this operation was revenge for what happened in Derna."

A security official said the car bombs were probably suicide attacks but no more details were immediately available.

Libya is in chaos, with two governments and two parliaments vying for legitimacy and territory, four years after Muammar Qaddafi was toppled.

The internationally recognized prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, is based in Bayda, some 40 km from Qubbah. Saleh works out of Tobruk, another eastern town home to the House of representatives, the elected parliament.

The capital Tripoli is under the control of a rival government and parliament, set up after a faction called Libya Dawn seized the city in summer, forcing Thinni to flee to the east.

[With Reuters]

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