The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly deplored a terrorist attack against a hotel in the city of Tobruk where the country’s House of Representatives was in session just days after the Mission had warned that further violence risked plunging the country into “all-out war.”
According to media reports, a suicide bomber detonated a car equipped with explosives earlier today wounding at least 11 people. The bombing appears to be the biggest attack against the Libyan parliament since it moved to the eastern city of Tobruk, along the border with Egypt, to escape the unprecedented levels of violence afflicting the country.
“This despicable act will only increase the determination of those Libyans seeking a political solution to forge ahead with their efforts to bring stability and security to Libya,” UNSMIL said in a statement released today.
The attack – the latest spell of violence to rattle the beleaguered nation following the beginning of its civil war in 2011 which resulted in the ouster of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi –comes on the heels of last week’s militant aggression against an oil installation in Sidra which left numerous storage tanks ablaze and at least 20 soldiers dead and last weekend’s Government air strikes against militant positions in the city of Misrata.
At the same time, recent fighting in the neighbouring Nafusa mountains has left 170 people dead. In addition to the casualties, the fighting has also caused a humanitarian crisis with at least 120,000 people forced to flee their homes, resulting in consequent shortages in both food and medical supplies.
Meanwhile, in the eastern city of Benghazi, an uptick in violence has seen 450 people killed since October as residents continue to face shortages in medical care. Moreover, upwards of 15,000 families – some 90,000 people – have been displaced.
In its statement, UNSMIL stressed that violence “will not solve Libya’s problems” and urged all Libyans “to desist from violence and to seek to resolve their political and security crises through dialogue.”