Benghazi mosque bombing kills two, wounds 75


Two people died and 75 were wounded in a twin bombing inside a mosque in Benghazi, medics said.

Two weeks ago about 35 people died in another twin bombing at a mosque in Benghazi, the second-largest city in Libya.

Friday’s explosions occurred during prayers at a small mosque in Majouri district, residents said. The devices, in bags at the mosque doors, appear to have been activated remotely using a mobile phone, a military source said.

Benghazi is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), the dominant force in eastern Libya led by commander Khalifa Haftar.

The LNA was battling Islamists, including some linked to Islamic State and al Qaeda, as well as other opponents until late last year in the Mediterranean port city.

Haftar, a possible contender in national elections that could be held by the end of 2018, built his reputation on delivering stability in Benghazi and beyond, promising to halt the anarchy following a NATO-backed uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s rule nearly seven years ago.

Haftar launched his military campaign in Benghazi in May 2014 in response to bombings and assassinations blamed on Islamist militants. In the past few months there have been occasional, smaller scale bombings apparently targeting LNA allies or supporters.

Haftar does not recognise the UN-backed government based in Tripoli.

The United Nations has been trying to mediate, hoping elections can help stabilise Libya. Staging a vote is a major challenge in a country still split among military and political factions and where rival governments claim authority after a 2014 vote was disputed. Security in many parts of Libya is poor.