IS claims deadly Libya car bombing

IS claims deadly Libya car bombing
IS claimed responsibility car bomb attack in the city of Sebha which killed two security forces personnel
2 min read
The bombing took place in Sebha [Getty]

The Islamic State group on Monday claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in the southern Libyan city of Sebha that a police source said killed two security forces personnel.

The jihadist group, in a statement carried by its propaganda arm Amaq, said one of its suicide operatives targeted a checkpoint of the "militia of the tyrant Haftar", referring to Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

A police source said the attack, which took place on Sunday, left two security officers dead and five others wounded.

IS claimed that it had killed four in the attack.

The attack, in Sebha, some 750 kilometres (around 465 miles) south of the capital Tripoli, was the first claimed by IS in Libya in more than a year, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group which monitors extremist organisations.

Sebha is the capital of the southern province of Fezzan and is controlled by forces loyal to Haftar. It has been the scene of several jihadist attacks in recent years.

Libya is seeking to extricate itself from a decade of chaos and conflict that followed the toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

A political crisis in the wake of Kadhafi's overthrow saw the oil-rich country split between rival authorities in the east and west and the disintegration of security apparatuses, creating fertile ground for jihadists like IS to take root.

A formal truce signed last October between Haftar's camp and forces loyal to an administration in Tripoli set in motion a UN-led process that led to the creation in March of an interim government.

Interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah wrote on Twitter that the attack in Sebha had been a "cowardly terrorist act" and offered condolences to victims' families.

"Our war against terrorism continues," Dbeibah said.