NORTH AFRICA

Libya car bomb death toll rises to 33 and wounds 71 in Benghazi

Image from the site where an explosives-rigged vehicle blew up in front of a mosque in the central neighborhood of Al-Sleimani. (Al Arabiya)

The death toll from a car bomb blast has risen to 33 people and wounded 71 others near a mosque in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday night, security officials told Al Arabiya.

The explosives-rigged vehicle blew up in front of a mosque in the central neighborhood of Al-Sleimani, a security source said.

Sources have also confirmed to Al Arabiya that Libya's counter-espionage director at Libyan Intelligence, Brigadier Mahdi Falah, is among the injured in the blast.

Spokesman of Central Security in Benghazi Tarek al-Kharraz earlier told Al Arabiya that the bombing left more than 40 wounded.

“Aid is still ongoing, while the criminal investigation teams and other security services are investigating the incident to reach the culprits,” Kharraz told Al Arabiya.

He confirmed that the bombings were targeting civilians in the densely populated Sleimani area.

Libya has been rocked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muamar Ghadafi, with two rival authorities and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

Military strongman Khalifa Haftar in July announced the "total liberation" of Benghazi, three years after his forces launched a military operation to seize the city from jihadists who had made it a stronghold following the revolution.

But clashes and attacks in the city have continued, including against diplomatic facilities and security forces.

Haftar supports a parliament based in the far east of Libya, while a rival United Nations-backed unity government in the western capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority nationwide.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 January 2018 KSA 03:13 - GMT 00:13
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