Car bomb kills soldiers praying in Benghazi | News | DW | 07.07.2016
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Car bomb kills soldiers praying in Benghazi

A suicide bomber has attacked Libyan troops loyal to controversial General Khalifa Haftar, killing several during evening prayers in Benghazi. Islamists have been targeting the city since the soldiers drove them out.

At least 12 soldiers were killed and 35 injured when an attacker drove an explosive-laden car into an army headquarters in western Benghazi, spokesman Mohammed al-Azumi told Libyan Al Wasat news site on Thursday.

The assault coincided with the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the three-day event marking the end of Ramadan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Libyan troops loyal to General Khalifa Haftar pushed jihadist militiamen out of most of Benghazi earlier this year. However, terror groups have continued targeting the city, including a deadly car bomb on Sunday and a bombing that killed four civilians two weeks ago.

A MiG-23 fighter jet also crashed west of Benghazi on Wednesday, killing its pilot.

"The crash was due to a technical fault," spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari told the AFP news agency.

Between Tobruk and Tripoli

Many Libyans praise General Haftar as a hero for his successful anti-jihadist campaign. At the same time, others accuse him of plans to become a dictator similar to Moammar Gadhafi, his one-time commander who later became his opponent.

Haftar has refused to recognize the new, UN-backed unity government in Tripoli. He remains the main military commander for the Tobruk administration in the east of the country. The internationally-recognized Tobruk parliament has yet to formally support the nascent unity government.

dj/kms (AFP, dpa)

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