Middle East

18 Libyan soldiers killed in Benghazi suicide bombing

Responsibility for deadly car bombing claimed by Al-Qaeda-linked Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries

Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed,Ekip   | 03.08.2016
18 Libyan soldiers killed in Benghazi suicide bombing

Libyan

By Moataz al-Majbari 

BENGHAZI, Libya

The death toll from a suicide car bombing in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi has risen to 18, a Libyan army spokesman said Wednesday.

A bomber blew up his vehicle at a military checkpoint in western Benghazi late Tuesday in an attack claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.

"A total of 18 soldiers were killed and another 20 injured in the attack," Col. Miloud Zwai, a spokesman for Special Forces units loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament, told Anadolu Agency.

Another four soldiers, he added, remained unaccounted for.

"Attacks like these are expected, especially given that the terrorists are losing ground" in the city, he said, in reference to the Shura Council.

Benghazi has been plagued by violence since Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar launched a military campaign against the Shura Council two years ago.

Last week, two suicide bombings killed at least three soldiers -- and injured nine others -- in the violence-wracked city.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli, each of which boasts its own military capacity and legislative assembly.

Late last year, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-sponsored agreement that established a national unity government.

The UN-backed unity government, however, has remained beset by difficulties and has yet to apply its governing mandate across the troubled North African country.

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