News / Middle East

Car Bomb Explodes Outside Swedish Consulate in Libya

Security personnel inspect damage in the Swedish consulate after a car bomb exploded at its entrance, in Benghazi, Oct. 11, 2013.
Security personnel inspect damage in the Swedish consulate after a car bomb exploded at its entrance, in Benghazi, Oct. 11, 2013.
Reuters
A car bomb exploded outside the Swedish consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, damaging the front of the building and nearby houses, but no casualties were immediately reported.

The bomb exploded a day after Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was briefly abducted by a group of former rebels.

Nobody claimed responsibility for attack, which took place days after a U.S. special forces' raid captured a Libyan al-Qaida suspect in Tripoli, outraging Islamist militants, who called for revenge attacks.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said none of its staff had been injured. "The facade and windows were damaged but no staff was injured. The consulate is closed on Fridays," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ursula Ahlen said.

Libya is deep in turmoil two years after the fall of Moamar Gadhafi, with its central government and nascent army struggling to control rival militias and Islamist militants who have turned the vast North African country into a safe haven.

On Thursday, former rebels now on government payroll kidnapped Zeidan from the hotel where he stays in the capital Tripoli, saying the government has been informed in advance of the U.S. raid. They later released him unharmed after a few hours.

Zeidan, who is under pressure from Islamists and ordinary Libyans for failing to deliver on public services since Gadhafi's overthrow, avoided any criticism of his captors. To help maintain security, Libya's government relies on militias made up of thousands of Libyans who took up arms against Gadhafi. But these rival groups have often involved into security threats themselves. This is especially true for Benghazi, where the 2011 revolt began and where the U.S. ambassador was killed during an Islamist assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission a year ago.

The city, where many demand autonomy from Tripoli, has seen a string of attacks on foreign missions and companies as well assassinations of army and police officers.
Several countries have closed their consulates there since the killing of the U.S. ambassador.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid