At least six killed by car bomb in Benghazi, Libya - residents

 At least six killed by car bomb in Benghazi, Libya - residents

By Ayman al-Warfalli

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - At least six people were killed and 10 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a busy street in the center of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday night, residents said.

The bomb exploded behind the Tibesti hotel, the city's biggest, in a shopping street busy with people taking an evening stroll after a day of fasting until sunset in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

No more details on the bombing were immediately available.

Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, 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.

Security has improved since then, but two mosque bombings earlier this year killed at least 35 people.

Haftar launched his military campaign in Benghazi in May 2014 in response to bombings and assassinations blamed on Islamist militants, part of anarchy that ensued after a NATO-backed uprising ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule in 2011.

In the past few months there have been occasional, smaller scale bombings apparently targeting LNA allies or supporters but attacks in the city center are rare.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Updated Date: May 25, 2018 07:05:52 IST