Tripoli: At least 30 people were killed Friday when three car bombs exploded simultaneously at three places in the eastern Libyan city of Al-Gubba, according to security sources and witnesses. The simultaneous blasts targeted a security office building, a gas station, and the residence of Akila Saleh Issa, a parliament leader, killing at least 30 people, a security official said.
“The three explosions took place at the same time. They were very loud and could be heard all over the city,” Xinhua news agency quoted a witness as saying. “We could not confirm whether the car bombs were detonated by suicide bombers,” a security source added. The city of Al-Gubba is under the control of the Libyan army and the forces of Major General Khalifa Haftar.
These explosions came a few days after joint airstrikes by Libyan and Egyptian air forces against militant-held sites. The airstrikes were carried out after an online video was posted showing Islamic State militants beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian hostages in the city of Sirte.
Libya, a major oil producer in North Africa, has been witnessing a frayed political process after its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled during the 2011 political turmoil. The country is now juggling between two rival parliaments and governments.