First Published: 2012-11-07

 

Clashes erupt after car blast in Libya's Benghazi

 

Two police officers wounded in clashes with suspect behind car explosion near police station in Libyan city.

 

Middle East Online

Gathafi's loyalists eyeing Libya's fledgling security forces

BENGHAZI, Libya, - A car exploded near a police station in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi late Tuesday, a police officer said, adding that two of his colleagues were injured in subsequent clashes.

The attack came as the country's new authorities try to empower the national army and police but struggle to rein in armed militias born out of the 2011 conflict that toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gathafi.

The vehicle belonged to a police officer who was posted in the area of Ras Obeida, the same source said on condition of anonymity.

There were no casualties or major material damage from the blast, which was believed to have been sparked by a hand grenade or fishing explosives.

But two policemen were later injured in a gunfight with the key suspect.

"One of them is in a critical condition and the other was hit on his foot," said the police officer, adding that the suspect had escaped.

The explosion ripped off the nose of the vehicle which had been parked outside the officer's home, just behind the Ras Obeida police station, an AFP journalist said.

The Mediterranean city of Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising against Gathafi, has endured several blasts, while a September 11 attack by militants on the US mission in Benghazi killed four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens.

The city has also witnessed a wave of assassinations, targeting officials with links to the former regime, which are often blamed on hardline Islamists.

On Tuesday, also in Benghazi, the bullet ridden corpse of retired colonel Abdelkarim Mahfud, who backed the 2011 revolution, was found in his farm.

Libya successfully held its first elections in July, following 42 years of dictatorship, but the new authorities are hard pressed to provide security in the face of widespread arms and a weak security apparatus.

 

Islamist protesters, police clash in Cairo

New Israel party created amid rumours of early elections

French lawmakers to debate recognition of Palestine

Morocco PM to GCC investors: we are one family

Well-loved Lebanese poet dies aged 102

Jordanians protest against Israel ‘Jewish’ status law

Foreign workers will get more protection in Gulf

Oil prices nosedive in Asia after OPEC refuses to cede ground to US shale

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff