Truck bomb kills 60 po­lice­men in Libya

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

TRIPOLI, Libya — A mas­sive truck bomb ex­ploded near a po­lice base in the western Libyan town of Zliten on Thurs­day, killing at least 60 po­lice­men and wound­ing around 200 oth­ers, of­fi­cials said. No group im­me­di­ately claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack but a lo­cal Is­lamic State af­fil­i­ate has been try­ing to gain a foothold in Zliten, spread­ing west­ward from its cen­tral strong­hold in the city of Sirte along the North African coun­try’s coast. The UN spe­cial en­voy to Libya, Martin Kobler, de­nounced the at­tack and urged Libyans to “put their dif­fer­ences aside and unite to con­front the scourge of ter­ror­ism.”The bomb­ing was yet an­other re­minder for Libyans that “ur­gent progress is re­quired” to­ward em­pow­er­ing a unity gov­ern­ment and re­build­ing state bod­ies, Kobler said in a state­ment. Hours af­ter the blast, res­cue crews at the scene had only man­aged to ex­tract 60 bod­ies out of the wreck­age, said a hos­pi­tal spokesman, Moa­mar Kaddi. Libyan of­fi­cials said they be­lieved there might be dozens more dead. The po­lice base, where about 400 re­cruits were train­ing, was used by Libya’s border po­lice, a Zliten se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said. Border po­lice foiled nu­mer­ous hu­man smug­gling at­tempts off the coast of Zliten last year. The of­fi­cial spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to speak to the me­dia.

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