Twin bombing kills 34 in Libya’s Benghazi

Monitoring Desk

TRIPOLI: At least 34 people have been killed and dozens injured in a double car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, according to local medical sources on Wednesday.

A car-bomb exploded outside a mosque in Benghazi’s central Al Salmani district on Tuesday evening. A second bombing struck as people gathered to help the victims of the first blast.

A medical source said 25 bodies were transferred to the government-run Al-Galaa hospital in Benghazi.

Nine more bodies were sent to the Benghazi Medical Center, the sources said.

According to the sources, 73 people were injured in the two bombings.

The sources expected the death toll to rise as many of the injured were in a critical condition.

Among those killed was Ahmed al-Fetouri of the investigation and arrest unit attached to the general command of East Libya-based security forces.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The bombing drew a swift condemnation from Libya’s presidential council, which operates under the auspices of the country’s UN-backed unity government.

In a statement, the council said the bombing was “contrary to teachings of the Islamic religion and human principles and values”.

It went on to call on Libyans to close ranks “to face the forces of evil and aggression”.

East Libya-based government and parliament have earlier condemned the bombing and announced a three-day mourning period.

Libya has remained dogged by violence and chaos since 2011, when a bloody uprising led to the ouster and death of longtime President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

The ensuing power vacuum led to the emergence of several competing seats of government and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.