At least 7 dead, 20 hurt after car bomb attack in Libyan city

The aftermath of the car bombing in Benghazi on Thursday night, which took place close to the Tibesti hotel on a busy road where many people go to celebrate during the month of Ramadan. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The aftermath of the car bombing in Benghazi on Thursday night, which took place close to the Tibesti hotel on a busy road where many people go to celebrate during the month of Ramadan. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.PHOTO: REUTERS

BENGHAZI (Libya) • At least seven people were killed and around 20 others injured late on Thursday in a car bomb attack in the centre of Benghazi in eastern Libya, a local security official said.

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.

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 Muammar Gaddafi, with two rival authorities and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

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

The international community is pushing for elections in Libya that it hopes will help calm the turmoil that has plagued it since Gaddafi's fall.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'At least 7 dead, 20 hurt after car bomb attack in Libyan city'. Print Edition | Subscribe