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Double Suicide Attack Kills 4 at Libyan Army Base

  • VOA News

A wreckage of a burnt aircraft is pictured after a shelling at Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, July 21, 2014.

A wreckage of a burnt aircraft is pictured after a shelling at Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, July 21, 2014.

A double suicide attack on an army base in Benghazi killed at least four people, a Libyan special forces commander said early Wednesday.

The two attackers, who detonated car bombs, targeted a Libyan army special forces barracks in the Bouatni area of Benghazi, an army official told the French news agency AFP.

The attack is an escalation of clashes between Islamist militants and regular forces battling to oust them from the city.

A first attacker blew himself up at the entrance to Benghazi's special forces headquarters, allowing a second suicide bomber to detonate his explosives at the base and kill at least four troops, a security source told Reuters.

Wreckage could be seen in the army base still smoldering after the attackl, with debris strewn across the ground.

Describes attack

Speaking at a news conference in the city, Special Forces Commander Wanis Abukhamada said the the special force's camp gate had been attacked by two separate cars just as the troops were breaking the fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The first exploded at the gate, and immediately after, another car entered the camp by speeding through the gate,” he said.

A medical official told AFP the blasts killed four people, not including the two attackers themselves, as well as an "unknown number of wounded."

Suicide bombings are rare in Libya, where a fragile government is struggling to impose order. Tripoli and Benghazi are now caught up in some of the fiercest fighting between rival armed groups since the fall of Moammer Gadhafi in 2011.

In another blow to the government, Libya's oil production fell, turning back a hard-won increase since April in revenue for the state just as it faces increased fighting around the airport in the capital and across Benghazi.

More than 40 people have died in a week of fierce clashes at Tripoli airport involving artillery, Grad rockets and anti-aircraft guns.

Fresh fighting broke out overnight on Monday in Tripoli and also Benghazi. In the eastern city, armed regular forces and troops loyal to a renegade former army general are battling Islamist militants who have entrenched themselves there.

At least 16 people, mostly soldiers, were killed and 80 wounded in the clashes.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.