TRIPOLI – A car bomb struck on Saturday a checkpoint 90 kilometers east of the coastal Libyan city of Sirte, injuring at least four troops loyal to the army commander who controls large parts of the country’s oil-rich east, security officials told EFE.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the second in the last 24 hours inside areas held by Gen. Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.
On Friday, explosive devices were detonated in a mosque in the city of Benghazi, killing three people and wounding 86, with security officials telling EFE that the mosque’s imam, Khaled al-Gadafi, was among the dead.
Until now, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the mosque bombing, one of the worst attacks in Benghazi since Haftar announced in December that his troops had fully captured the city following more than three years of siege.
However, Haftar’s forces continued to face resistance from supporters of the Tripoli-based government in the country’s west, as well as groups linked to al-Qaeda and the local branch of the Islamic State terror organization.
At present, two rival governments are fighting for power in Libya, one backed by the United Nations in the capital Tripoli and the other in the east under Gen. Haftar, and both are fighting against terror groups that have a presence in significant parts of the country.
IS controlled the city of Sirte until Feb. 2015, when it was expelled by forces loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
Libya broke into a failed state following the 2011 NATO-led operation to overthrow the country’s long-ruling dictator, Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi.