15 killed in car bomb blast near Benghazi hospital
Agence France-Presse in Benghazi
A car bomb exploded near a hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday, killing at least 15 people, wounding dozens more and destroying a restaurant, a top official said.
Deputy Interior Minister Abdullah Massoud said it was only a "preliminary toll" and the blast caused massive damage in the area of Al-Jala hospital.
A security official had earlier said the blast ripped through the hospital car park.
"Fifteen people have been killed and at least 30 were wounded in the explosion of a car bomb near the hospital," the deputy minister said. He said the blast "totally destroyed a restaurant and seriously damaged nearby buildings."
The attack in Libya's second city, cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, is the latest in a wave of violence that has shaken Benghazi in recent weeks, and comes against the backdrop of political and security tensions in the capital.
Four police stations were bombed in recent days - two on Friday and two on Sunday - causing damage, but no casualties. The city has seen frequent attacks and assassinations targeting security officials since the uprising.
Authorities blame radical Islamists, including a deadly attack in September against the US consulate in Benghazi that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The latest violence also comes days after the US and Britain withdrew some staff from their embassies in Tripoli, citing security concerns.