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Libya: Suicide bombing kills 50 police recruits

8th Jan 2016
Libya: Suicide bombing kills 50 police recruits

Michael Hernandez, Mahmoud Barakat

[Photo: Damaged cars are seen after a truck bomb attack targeting a police training center in Zliten, Libya on January 7, 2016. Photographer: Hazem Turkia/AA]

TRIPOLI,  (AA): At least 50 people were killed and 127 others injured Thursday when a suicide bombing rocked a police training center in Zliten city in the western part of the country.

Local sources told Anadolu Agency that a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden truck into the center’s gate.

Moammar al-Kedi, spokesman for Zliten Hospital, said the hospital received 40 bodies and more than 70 wounded.

Martin Kobler, head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), condemned the attack on Twitter and called on “all Libyans to urgently unite in [the] fight against terrorism.”

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest offered the U.S.’s condolences for those killed and injured, but said his country has not yet determined who “is responsible for carrying out this cowardly act of terrorism”.

“The United States continues to be deeply concerned about ISIL-inspired terrorists carrying out acts of violence, particularly in Libya. And that is why you’ve seen the United States take aggressive action, including inside of Libya, to take out ISIL leaders,” he said.

The U.S. carried out a fatal airstrike on Abu Nabil, the former leader of Daesh in Libya, in November.

Meanwhile, ongoing clashes between Daesh militants and guards of oil facilities in Libya left seven crude oil tanks in flames in Sidra and Ras Lanuf, according to Mohamed al-Harari, spokesman of the Tripoli-based government’s National Oil Corporation.

The raging battles are preventing firefighters from accessing the area.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.

Libya’s rival political camps signed a reconciliation agreement in December following months of negotiations.

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