2 killed as car bomb hits Tripoli near Italian embassy

 22 Jan 2017 - 13:59

2 killed as car bomb hits Tripoli near Italian embassy
Photo: AA.


TRIPOLI: Two people were killed late Saturday when a car bomb exploded near the Italian embassy in the Libyan capital, according to a local security source. 

The blast occurred next to the Planning Ministry in central Tripoli and close to the Egyptian embassy, the source said, requesting anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media.

Two people aboard the car were killed in the bombing, Ahmed Salem, a spokesman for forces loyal to the Libyan unity government, told a local TV channel.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

According to eyewitnesses, the occupants of the car had attempted to park the vehicle near the Italian embassy but were prevented by security forces.

The Italian embassy is some 400 meters away from the bombing.

Saturday’s attack came two weeks after the Italian embassy was reopened after almost a two-year closure.

Libya has been locked in a state of turmoil since the ouster and subsequent death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi following a popular uprising in 2011.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- both of which boast a military capacity. 

In late 2015, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement to establish a unity government in an effort to resolve the country’s ongoing political standoff.