34 killed in twin Libya car bomb attacks

Published: 24 January, 2018 22:01 IST | IANS | Benghazi

These are the most violent bombings in Benghazi in months after the eastern Army led by General Khalifa Haftar took control

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At least 34 people have been killed in twin car bombings near a mosque in the Libyan city of Benghazi, a media source said on Wednesday.Information official of Benghazi Medical Centre Khalil Gweder told Xinhua news agency: "The centre received nine bodies and 34 injured people."

Gweder added that the death toll in the centre was "final". Fadia Al-Barghathi, an official from the Information Office of Al-Jelaa Hospital in Benghazi, said the hospital received 25 bodies and 51 injured people. Two car bombs hit Benghazi on Tuesday night. The first one exploded in front of a mosque as worshipers exited the mosque after night prayer. The second one exploded in the same location following the arrival of ambulances.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.The commander of the Army's Special Investigation Unit, Ahmed Ali Al-Fitouri, was killed in one of the attacks. Brigadier General Mahdi Al-Falah, a senior Libyan intelligence official, was injured in the first explosion.

These are the most violent bombings in Benghazi in months after the eastern Army led by General Khalifa Haftar took control of the entire city and the completion of the military operations against terrorist groups in Benghazi. The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Tuesday condemned the attacks.

"UNSMIL condemns the horrific bombings in al-Salmani residential neighbourhood in Benghazi causing many casualties, including civilians," said the mission in a post on its Facebook page. The UN-backed government of national accord in Tripoli condemned the attack, announcing mourning for three days. The eastern-based House of Representatives also condemned the attack, calling on the international community to help Libya in fighting terrorism.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that urgent medical assistance had been provided to Al-Jelaa Hospital in Benghazi."As a humanitarian response following the two car bombs in Salmani district, Al-Jelaa Hospital was supported by urgent medical donations to treat the injured," the committee said.

The assistance includes more than a tonne of surgical supplies and medicines sufficient to treat 50 seriously injured people. Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. The country is plagued with unrest and political division.

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