Car bomb kills two UN personnel in Libya’s Benghazi

A car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi killed two United Nations staff on Saturday, a security official said.

“Two members of the UN mission, one them a foreigner, were killed and at least eight others wounded including a child, by a car bomb” in a shopping area of the Al-Hawari district, the official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which happened as a UN convoy was passing through the area.

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

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

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

Haftar, who backs an eastern-based administration that opposes the Tripoli-based unity government, went on to seize Derna, the last city in eastern Libya outside his control.

But bombings and kidnappings have continued.

A May 2018 attack left seven people dead and last month, a car bombing at the funeral of an ex-army commander killed at least four people and wounded more than 30 others.

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A Libyan lawmaker is also feared to have been abducted by an armed group in the eastern city, the UN and lawmakers said in July.

Haftar controls most of eastern Libya, and early this year he 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 UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

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The LNA on Saturday announced a truce around Tripoli for the three-day Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, after the unity government conditionally accepted a ceasefire called for by the UN.

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