A car bomb has exploded at an army base outside the Libyan city of Benghazi, killing at least seven people and wounding more than a dozen, Al Jazeera has confirmed.

The unnamed attacker detonated a car bomb at a security checkpoint in front of the base in Barsis, some 50km outside Benghazi, killing himself and six soldiers, medical and security sources said.

The attack left body parts strewn around the area, police officer Moetez al-Agouri said, noting the death toll could rise as authorities identified them.

"Seven bodies among the victims have been identified, but some other bodies were torn to pieces by the explosion," he said.

One witness said the blast left a sizeable crater in the ground.

The security post's chief, Fraj al-Abdelli, who was wounded in the attack, said the checkpoint had received several threats since arresting four people in November who were carrying weapons, explosives, money and a hit list.

The incident on Sunday comes just days after Colonel Fethallah al-Gaziri, the newly appointed chief of military intelligence in Benghazi, was assassinated during a visit to his family in the city of Derna.

Libya has witnessed a string of assassinations and bombings since former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. In most cases, the government has been unable to identify the assailants.

The security situation in Benghazi has sharply deteriorated in the past few months, prompting many countries to close their consulates there.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies