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miércoles, 24 de enero de 2018

Benghazi rocked by massive car bombs – 33 killed, 47+ wounded

The infamous city of Benghazi, Libya, was hit with a terrorist attack on Wednesday that has left at least 33 people dead and 47 injured.

Two car bombs exploded near the Bait Radwan Mosque on Wednesday evening local time, the Chicago Tribune reported, the second of which was timed “to go off as residents and medics gathered to evacuate the wounded from the first blast, aiming to cause a maximum of casualties,” according to Benghazi police.

No terror group has explicitly claimed responsibility for this attack, though some are assigning blame to the remaining fragments of the Islamic State in the area.

Designed To Murder Many

The first of two car bombs exploded as worshippers were leaving the mosque after evening prayers, Reuters reported. It was 10-15 minutes after that when the next, more powerful, bomb detonated, after medics had already arrived.

“Many people were gathering and more people left the mosque when the second blast happened, and my brother died then,” Khaled Almajdoub told reporters. “He has four daughters, no political or religious affiliation and was just a small business owner.” Almajdoub said his brother was a mechanic.

Another individual killed in the first bombing was Ahmed Al-Fitur, who headed the Arrest and Special Investigation Unit of Dignity Operation, The Libya Observer reported.

Nations and international organizations condemned the attacks as war crimes, saying that any attacks that target civilians — either directly or indiscriminately — violate humanitarian laws. Egypt, a neighbor of Libya, asked that the international community “take a firm line on arms smuggling into Libya.”

Libya’s government, which is backed by the U.N., announced a three-day mourning period following the attacks.

A Nation In Chaos

After former leader Moammar Gadhafi was ousted in 2011, Libya descended into an ongoing civil war as rival governments were established in the eastern and western regions of the nation. The resulting chaotic conditions and economic crises created an opportunity for terrorist groups to gain a foothold in the area.

In 2012, the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi was attacked by Islamic terrorists and resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the administration of former President Barack Obama initially blamed the attacks on anger over an anti-Islam video on the Internet, but later admitted that the attack was pre-planned and carried out by a terrorist group.

While some may be tempted to overlook violence in terror-ridden countries like Libya, the deaths of innocents should never go unnoticed — no matter where they are. Our thoughts are with the victims of another senseless act of Islamic terror.