Libya: Casualties reported after car bomb in Benghazi

At least three people were killed and 15 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a cemetery of the Libyan city of Benghazi during an ex-army commander’s funeral Thursday, July 11, a hospital source said.

The bomb targeted the funeral of Khalifa Mismari, who was assistant commander of Libya’s special forces under former leader Moammar Qaddafi, Reuters reported.

The Benghazi Medical Center said the blast in a cemetery left three dead and 15 wounded, without specifying whether the victims were civilian or military.

Al-Jala, another hospital in the city, said it was treating wounded but did not specify the number.

Benghazi, Libya’s second city and the cradle of the 2011 uprising that overthrew Qaddafi, was hit by years of violence targeting diplomatic offices and security forces after his fall.

An attack on the U.S. consulate on September 11, 2012, killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The last attack in Benghazi was in May 2018 and left seven people dead.

In 2017, rebel general Khalifa Haftar drove hardline Islamists and jihadists out of Benghazi after a brutal three-year battle.

He went on to seize Derna, the only city in eastern Libya outside his control.

In early 2019, Haftar ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to purge the south of what he called “terrorist groups and criminals.”

On the heels of that campaign, his LNA launched in April an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord.

Fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts has since killed 1,048 people, including 106 civilians, and left 5,558 wounded, including 289 civilians, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

With reporting from AFP

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