Deadly mosque blast hits Libya's Benghazi

Deadly mosque blast hits Libya's Benghazi

Deadly mosque blast hits Libya's Benghazi

The explosion rattled near a mosque in the Libyan city of Benghazi, leaving eight people dead, city residents told Sputnik.

Mutaz al-Mu'tri, Benghazi's security directorate spokesperson, said two bomb bags had been used in the attack, according to Libya's 218 tv news channel.

The blasts follow twin auto bombings outside a mosque in Benghazi after prayers on January 24 that left almost 40 people dead.

The devices, placed inside bags, appear to have been activated remotely using a mobile phone, a military source said.

Later, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya condemned the attack in a statement. "Prompt, impartial investigations should bring perpetrators to justice", the mission said on Twitter.

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Forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a renegade general based in the east of the country, took control of Benghazi in 2017, after a three-year campaign against rival armed groups.

The LNA was battling Islamists, including some linked to Islamic State and Al Qaeda, as well as other opponents until late a year ago in the Mediterranean port city.

Libya has been wracked by violence and divisions since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

In the past few months there have been occasional, smaller scale bombings apparently targeting LNA allies or supporters. Security in many parts of Libya is poor.

The UN are hoping elections could help stabilize the north African country in a effort bring the East and West together but the challenge is that the country has too many military and political factions and especially after the 2014 election which saw the rival government claim authority.

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