Car of Egyptian diplomat blown up in Libya’s Benghazi


A car belonging to an Egyptian diplomat was blown up near his home in the eastern Libyan city Benghazi a day after deadly bomb attacks in the capital Tripoli blamed on supporters of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

A homemade device exploded under the vehicle of the Egyptian consulate’s first secretary Abdelhamid Rifai in one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods but no one was hurt, security sources told Reuters.

Both Sunday and Monday’s attacks took place days ahead of the first anniversary of the capture of Tripoli by rebels during last year’s revolution, Reuters reports.

The violence will test the mettle of a national assembly that made improving security a priority when it assumed control of the country earlier this month.

Three car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan capital on Sunday, killing two people and wounding three others.

They were the first fatal attacks of their kind since Gaddafi’s overthrow and death last year after 42 years in power.

Libyan security officials said on Sunday they had arrested 32 members of an organised network of Gaddafi loyalists linked to the attacks.

Officials from Egypt’s foreign ministry had contacted their counterparts in Libya to get information on the attack on the diplomat’s car, Egypt’s official MENA news agency.

Cairo also wanted to check what measures Libya was taking to “secure the Egyptian delegation in Tripoli and Benghazi”, MENA added.

Libya has been hit by persistent instability since the overthrow of Gaddafi. Authorities are still trying to disarm numerous groups, mostly militias who took part in the uprising, who refuse to lay down their weapons.

The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended its activities in Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city, and Misrata after one of its compounds in Misrata was attacked with grenades and rockets.

The fate of seven Iranian relief workers, official guests of the Libyan Red Crescent Association, remains unknown almost three weeks after they were kidnapped by gunmen in the heart of Benghazi.