Anti-graft activist among 4 dead in Libya blast

2016-10-31 08:27
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Benghazi - A prominent anti-corruption activist was one of four people killed in an explosion in Libya's second city of Benghazi, in the east of the strife-torn country, officials said Sunday.

"An explosion caused by a mortar shell occurred in the Al-Kish neighbourhood" of Benghazi, said Mohamad al-Azumi, a spokesman for forces allied with controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

He said the shell hit a group of cars, sparking the blast.

A medical official said the explosion on Saturday night killed four people and wounded 23 others, all of them civilians including "the well-known anti-corruption activist Mohamad Bugaighis".

Another source in the forces loyal to Haftar said the shell stuck near the headquarters of a brigade located in an area also known for its cafes and shops.

The origin of the mortar round was unknown, said the source.

Bugaighis was known for his support of the idea that Haftar be made commander of the Libyan national army, as well as his opposition to Islamists.

For two and a half years, Benghazi has seen bloody battles between loyalist forces led by Haftar and armed groups including jihadists from the Islamic State group and Ansar al-Sharia, which is close to Al-Qaeda.

Haftar's forces have taken over much of Benghazi but have been unable to impose their control over the whole city where they still face pockets of resistance from dissident groups.

Libya has been mired in violence and political chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The UN special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, condemned the attack on his official Twitter account.

The German diplomat wrote that Bugaighis was among two anti-corruption activists killed in the blast, and called for the culprits to be brought to justice.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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