Jan 24, 2018 19:12 UTC
  • Twin car bombings kill more than 30 in Libyan city of Benghazi

Twin car bombings outside a mosque have claimed the lives of more than 30 people and wounded dozens more in Libya's second city Benghazi.

Security officials said on Wednesday that the bombers blew up two cars 30 minutes apart outside the mosque after evening prayers on Tuesday in the central neighborhood of al-Sleimani.

Emergency and security workers who had rushed to the scene were among those killed in the second blast.

Fadia al-Barghathi, a spokeswoman for the city's al-Jala hospital, said that the facility received 25 dead and 51 wounded. Spokesman Khalil Gider said that the Benghazi Medical Center received nine dead and 36 wounded.

Health officials said many of the wounded were in critical condition and the death toll was likely to rise.

Military spokesman Milud al-Zwei said Ahmad al-Fituri, a security official for Khalifa Haftar forces, was also among those killed.

Benghazi has been relatively calm since military strongman Haftar announced the eastern city's "liberation" from militants in July last year after a three-year campaign.

Haftar, who supports an administration based in the east of the country, has declared three days of mourning following the attack. Haftar's opponents accuse him of wanting to seize power and establish a military dictatorship.

A UN-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA) condemned the attack as a "terrorist and cowardly act." The GNA has struggled to assert its authority outside the west.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) strongly denounced the bombings as "horrific" and warned that "direct or indiscriminate attacks against civilians... constitute war crimes."