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Car bomb kills 12 pro-Haftar fighters in eastern Libya

A car bomb exploded outside a security base in Benghazi on Wednesday night, killing at least 12 Libyan fighters, local sources told The New Arab.

The bomb blast targeted the armed men allied to commander of Libya’s eastern government General Khalifa Haftar as they gathered outside a militia headquarters.

The blast occurred in the suburban al-Qawarisha, around 15 kilometres [nine miles] from Benghazi centre, local sources said.

The car, packed with explosives, was detonated by a suicide bomber outside the building of the Battalion 302 militia, spokesperson Mohamed al-Azoumi told Tripoli Post.

Thirty-six others were wounded in the attack, medical sources told The New Arab.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Mediterranean city has been plagued by car bombings.

Meanwhile, a Mig-23 war plane which is part of Haftar’s forces crashed on Wednesday due to a mechanical fault, the group’s spokesperson said.

Jihadi fighters such as the Islamic State group took root in Libya in late 2014, taking advantage of the chaos and power struggles that followed the fall of Muammer Gaddafi’s regime in a 2011 uprising.

The power vacuum has left Libya with two rival governments, although Italian diplomats are attempting to bring the two parties together.

Fighters from both sides are battling IS militants in the country, and attempting to capture the group’s stronghold, Sirte, on the Libyan coast with the internationally-recognised Tripoli government leading the fight.

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