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Sun Nov 23 06:44:34 SAST 2014

Car blast rocks police station in east Libya

Sapa-AFP | 05 November, 2012 08:30
People stand near a police car, which exploded after an explosive device was detonated in the parked vehicle, in front of a police station in Benghazi November 4, 2012. The car bomb exploded on Sunday in front of the police station in Benghazi, injuring three police officers in the latest in a series of attacks on security officials in Libya's second largest city.
Image by: ESAM OMRAN AL-FETORI / REUTERS

A car exploded outside a police station in Libya's second city of Benghazi on Sunday, causing damage to the building and lightly wounding four policemen, according to the official LANA news agency.

The attack came as the country's new authorities try to empower the national army and police but struggle to rein in armed militias born out of the 2011 conflict that toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

"Four police officers were lightly wounded during an improvised explosive devise attack on a police station in the Hadaiq area," LANA news agency reported.

Two unknown assailants drove past the station and lobbed a bomb under one of the police vehicles parked outside, the agency added, citing security sources.

The blast occurred before dawn, destroying the entrance of the building, unhinging a door and shattering windows, an AFP photographer said.

The facades of nearby shops were also damaged. The charred remains of the vehicle remained at the scene.

"Several suspects have been arrested," Ezzedine al-Fazzani, a spokesman for the interior ministry in the east, told AFP.

The Mediterranean city of Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 against Gaddafi, has witnessed several blasts, while a September 11 attack by militants on the US mission in Benghazi killed four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens.

The city has also witnessed a wave of assassinations, targeting officials with links to the former regime, which is widely blamed on hardline Islamists.

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