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At least 22 killed as car bomb explodes at Benghazi mosque, another goes off after responders arrive

Reuters

A double car bombing in the east Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday left at least 22 people dead and 30 wounded, including senior security figures, according to officials and a Reuters witness.

The first explosion struck outside a mosque in Benghazi’s central Al Salmani district as worshippers were leaving evening prayers.

Some 10 to 15 minutes later, after security and health officials had arrived on the scene, a second, more powerful blast was detonated from a Mercedes parked on the opposite side of the street, hitting an ambulance and causing a higher number of casualties.

The victims included both military personnel and civilians, officials said. One of those killed was Ahmed al-Feitouri of the investigation and arrest unit attached to the general command of east Libyan security forces. An intelligence official, Mahdi al-Fellah, was wounded.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

Benghazi was the scene of more than three years of warfare from 2014 until late last year, as forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar battled Islamists and other opponents.

There were a number of bombings during the latter stages of the conflict targeting figures linked to Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

LNA claimed control of its rivals’ final holdout in the port city in December.

The fighting in Benghazi was part of a broader conflict that developed in Libya after former ruler Moammar Gadhafi was removed from power and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

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