UN condemns car bomb attack killing 3 staffers in Libya

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-11 19:34:01|Editor: huaxia
Video PlayerClose

Photo taken on Aug. 10, 2019 shows United Nations Security Council holding an emergency meeting on the situation in Libya at the UN headquarters in New York. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

"The secretary-general condemns in the strongest terms the car bomb attack today in Benghazi, Libya."

UNITED NATIONS/TRIPOLI, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) condemned a car bomb attack in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Saturday, which killed three UN workers and injured several others, the UN said in a statement.

The UN victims served with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salame confirmed Saturday in a separate statement, without giving more details

The attack took place outside Arkan Mall in the Hawari neighborhood, as a convoy of UN vehicles was passing the venue, a local source told Xinhua.

The Benghazi municipal council said that the attack targeted the convoy.

The east-based rebel Libyan National Army (LNA) Spokesman Ahmed Mismari said two of those killed were UNSMIL guards and 10 others were wounded, including children.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Security Council, at the request of France, called an urgent meeting Saturday afternoon to discuss the situation in Libya.

The United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence to the three UN staff members killed in the Benghazi car bomb attack at the UN headquarters in New York, Aug. 10, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

At the meeting, Joanna Wronecka, Polish UN ambassador and Council president for August, read out a statement of the council members to express their strong condemnation of the attack.

She said it confirmed that the chronic violence and instability "is creating a vacuum easily exploited by radical elements that thrive on chaos and violence" and noted that the attack occurred in an area "supposedly under full control" of the forces of the self-styled LNA.

"The UN does not intend to evacuate from Libya," she said. "For the foreseeable future, our place remains alongside the Libyan people, like our brave colleagues who gave their lives today."

Fighters of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) are seen during clashes with the east-based Libyan National Army (LNA) at the Al-Yarmook frontline in Tripoli, Libya, on Aug. 9, 2019. (Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday also condemned the car bomb attack.

"The secretary-general condemns in the strongest terms the car bomb attack today in Benghazi, Libya," according to a statement issued by Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

"He calls on the Libyan authorities to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this attack," the statement added.

The attack came as the UN was brokering a humanitarian truce between the Benghazi-based LNA and the UN-backed government based in Tripoli. The LNA has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over Tripoli.

Last month, a car bomb explosion hit a funeral of a former army official in Benghazi, killing four people and injuring more than 30 others.

Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, has witnessed years of violence targeting diplomatic offices and security forces after the 2011 uprising overthrew former leader Muammar Gaddafi.