Car bomb explodes in Libya's Benghazi

One person killed in attack as armed group Ansar al-Sharia pledges to capture eastern city in the coming days.

    A car bomb has killed one person and wounded another in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, hospital and military sources say, with neither the perpetrators nor the motive immediately clear.

    The car blew up on Friday outside the Tibesti hotel in a square popular as a gathering place for demonstrations in support of Libya's army, in a city almost entirely controlled by fighters.

    There were no demonstrations planned for the day.

    Three years after the civil war that toppled long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in anarchy.

    The elected parliament has been holed up in Tobruk, east of Benghazi, since the government lost control of the capital Tripoli to an armed group from the west of the country in August.

    Meanwhile, Ansar al-Sharia, the armed group, has said it hoped to seize Benghazi from pro-government forces in the coming days, but will not try to capture other cities.

    "We will finish the battle [of Benghazi] in the coming days," Mohamed Zawahi, Ansar al-Sharia leader, says in a video posted on social media.

    "Afterwards Benghazi will become a better place. We will protect its sons.

    "We don't plan to move this war to other cities."

    The video's authenticity could not be confirmed by Al Jazeera.

    Members of Ansar al-Sharia have been advancing on Benghazi airport, the last bastion held by pro-government forces in the port city. The fighters have already overrun several army camps.

    At least 17 people have been killed this week in fighting for control of the airport, the last redoubt of forces loyal to former General Khalifa Haftar who launched a campaign against the fighters in May.

    Parliamentarians worry that Ansar al-Sharia might turn its sights on Tobruk next, in a conflict which threatens to break up the country. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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