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At least 7 dead, 20 hurt in Benghazi attack – security source

/ 10:32 AM May 25, 2018

At least seven people were killed and around 20 others injured late Thursday in a car bomb attack in the center of Benghazi in eastern Libya, a local security official told AFP.

The bomb exploded close to the Tibesti hotel on a busy road where many people go to celebrate during the month of Ramadan, the official said, adding that the victims were civilians.

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No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but the Libyan official blamed the assault on “terrorist sleeper cells who want to send a message that Benghazi is not safe”.

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

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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.

Almost 40 people were killed following a double car bomb attack in front of a mosque in January. In February, another attack left one person dead and nearly 150 wounded, also in front of a mosque.

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.  /kga

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TAGS: attack, Conflict, Libya
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