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3 UN staff killed, dozens of civilians injured in car bombing in Benghazi, Libya (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

3 UN staff killed, dozens of civilians injured in car bombing in Benghazi, Libya (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Three United Nations employees have been killed and dozens of civilians, including children, injured after a car bomb exploded in front of a shopping mall in the Libyan city of Benghazi, just as the UN convoy was passing by.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadly explosion, which also killed two security guards working with the UN. Dozens of civilians suffered injuries, with local authorities saying that many of the wounded were children.

The attack took place amid a ceasefire between the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the Government of National Accord (GNA), brokered by the UN ahead of Eid al-Adha religious holiday.

“This cowardly attack… serves as another strong reminder of the urgent need for Libyans to stop fighting, set aside their differences, and work together through dialogue, and not violence, to end the conflict,” UN special representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, said at an emergency UN Security Council session.

Libya has plunged into chaos and has struggled to establish a stable government ever since the 2011 NATO-backed armed uprising led to the murder of the country’s long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. The country is divided between the UN-backed government in Tripoli, which relies on the local militia coalition, and Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his forces which now control most of the country, including major oilfields.

More than 1,000 people have been killed, over 5,700 injured, and an estimated 120,000 displaced since April when Haftar’s forces challenged the GNA for the control of Tripoli. However, the Benghazi-based LNA has not been able to advance beyond the southern suburbs of Tripoli.

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