Several car bombs continue to wrack eastern Libya

Casualties in Tobruk and Bayda; Italian FM calls for dialogue

12 November, 18:42

    A damaged vehicle at the site of bombing in the eastern city of  Tobruk, Libya A damaged vehicle at the site of bombing in the eastern city of Tobruk, Libya

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - Several cars loaded with explosives blew up in eastern Libya on Wednesday, killing at least five, while airstrikes continued on Ansar Al-Sharia bases in Derna, a city that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). The decapitated bodies of two young human rights activists were found in Derna on Tuesday.

    A car bomb exploded on Wednesday morning near the Labraq airport (the city is also known as Al-Abraq) near the eastern city of Bayda, killing at least four people. Another explosion, which Libya Herald reports killed two soldiers, occurred shortly thereafter in Tobruk, where the headquarters of the parliament resulting from June 25 elections is located. The parliament is not recognized by the General National Congress (GNC), which was recently reinstated by the the Islamist Libya Dawn militias in Tripoli.

    The Libya Herald quotes military spokesman Mohamed Al-Hejazi as saying that two remotely detonated bombs had exploded in Tobruk and that a suicide bomber had blown himself up at the entrance to an air base in Labraq. Another bomb went off in the morning in Benghazi, where fighting has been raging for months between the jihadists of Ansar Al-Sharia on one side and the Tobruk government forces and those under former general Khalifa Haftar on the other. Another car loaded with explosives was found on Wednesday in front of a building of the prefect's office in the Cyrenaica city of Ajdabiya, where the bomb squad defused it. The Libya Herald website reports that at least five soldiers were killed in the attacks in Bayda and Tobruk and an unspecified number of civilians injured. According to communique released by military sources, 'three jihadist' were killed in the explosion in Tobruk. 

    Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni has expressed concern over the latest wave of violence, noting that it ''harms stability and national reconciliation efforts''.
    ''A cessation of attacks is the first step needed to resume dialogue between the parties involved, and is necessary now more than ever,'' he said, noting that UN special envoy Bernardino Leon was active in efforts to achieve this, ''with the full support of Italy and our representative office in Libya.'' The Italian embassy is the only Western one still open.

    Leon's visit to Tripoli on Tuesday led to supporters of the Islamist Libya Dawn alliance to erroneously hold that this constituted a Western recognition of the GNC and the Tripoli government, after the Supreme Court recently invalidated the June parliamentary election results. Leon met with the GNC chief to be able to initiate dialogue between the parties in conflict, and had in previous days met also with the prime minister of the transitory government Abdallah Al-Thinni, supported by the Tobruk assembly. (ANSAmed).

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