Middle East

ISIS claims eastern Libya suicide bombing that killed 8

Islamic State on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Libya the previous day that killed eight people, including civilians.

A suicide attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at a barricade manned by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar near the city of Ajdabiya, local security and hospital sources said.

Eight other people were wounded in what was the second such attack in less than a month.

The jihadist group, in a statement issued by its propaganda outlet Amaq, said a militant named Abu Qudama al-Saeih had blown up his car at a barricade manned by Haftar’s forces, killing or wounding 19 personnel.

General Fawzi al-Mansouri, a top officer in the local security forces, said civilians were among those killed and wounded in the attack, 840 kilometers (520 miles) from the capital Tripoli.

ISIS also claimed a March 9 suicide attack to the south of Ajdabiya that wounded three people.

Despite the December 2016 loss of its Sirte bastion in northern Libya, ISIS remains active in the center and south of the country.

The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Two authorities – a Tripoli-based unity government and a rival administration in the east – are vying for control of Libya.

Haftar, who backs the eastern authorities, announced the “liberation” of Libya’s second city of Benghazi last July after a three-year campaign.

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