The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly deplored a string of suicide car bombings that struck the eastern city of Al-Qubbah in the latest terror attack to afflict the war-torn country.
The attack came earlier this morning in three separate waves with one bomber detonating his vehicle near a heavily frequented gas station while two others exploded their car bombs near the home of Libya’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqila Saleh Kuweider, and the Government’s security headquarters. According to reports, the bombings left at least 45 dead and many others injured.
In a statement released today, UNSMIL “totally rejected” the “cowardly acts” and issued condolences to the families of the victims.
“The Mission believes that the best response to counter terrorism and violence is for the Libyans to forge ahead with the search for a political solution to end the conflict and restore stability and unity to the country and the State institutions,” the statement added.
In a separate statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also strongly condemned the multiple bombings and expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims. “These terrorist acts are an additional reminder that a political solution to the current crisis must be found quickly to restore peace and stability in the country and confront terrorism,” said that statement.
Libyan stakeholders have been convening in a series of UN-facilitated meetings aimed at resolving the North African nation’s political crisis and bringing about military de-escalation across the country.
Nonetheless, the violence has stirred concerns within Libya and across the international community about the country’s deteriorating security situation, particularly following the arrival of militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and their brutal execution of 20 Coptic Christians and apparently another Christian man earlier this week.
Overall, Libya’s protracted conflict has caused a serious humanitarian crisis, with at least 120,000 people forced to flee their homes, resulting in consequent shortages in both food and medical supplies along with mounting numbers of casualties.
A recent burst of violence has further rattled the war-weary nation, in conflict since the beginning of its civil war in 2011, which resulted in the ouster of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In the eastern city of Benghazi, an uptick in violence has seen 450 people killed since October 2014 as residents continue to face shortages in medical care. Moreover, upwards of 15,000 families – some 90,000 people – have been displaced.