BENGHAZI, LIBYA (BNO NEWS) — A deadly car bomb attack in eastern Libya killed at least fifteen people, local authorities said Monday.
The attack took place at the parking lot of the Al-Jala Hospital located in in the city of Benghazi, the capital of the Cyrenaica region, at around 3 p.m. local time, which is visiting hours at the hospital.
Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Abdullah Masaud spoke to the press, confirming the deaths of fifteen people and over 30 injured. However, the Tripoli Post said at least seventeen were dead, including three children. Fears among local authorities remain, as the death toll could continue rising.
The powerful blast came from an explosive device planted in a vehicle. Nearby buildings were severely damaged, as reports said a three-story building was completely destroyed as was a restaurant.
Large crowds gathered in angry protest, blaming local Islamic militant groups.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) strongly condemned the bombing, expressing its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims, and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
In a statement, UNSMIL called on all Libyans during this “critical phase to stand in solidarity against all attempts of destructions, terrorism, and destabilization of Libya.
The Mission also underscored the need to support the legitimate authority of the State and enable it to shoulder its responsibilities in ensuring the safety and security of all citizens across the country.
Libya has suffered heavy violence since the toppling of Muammar al-Qadhafi two years ago. The former leader ruled the North African country for more than 40 years until a pro-democracy uprising in 2011 – similar to the protests in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa – led to civil war and the end of his regime.