Britain: Convoy attacked in Libya's Benghazi (Updated)

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June 11, 2012, 5:20 p.m. | World — by Reuters


A British diplomatic convoy was attacked in Benghazi on June 11, an embassy spokeswoman said, in the latest of a spate of attacks on foreign targets in the eastern Libyan city that some analysts blame on Islamist militants. Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising last year which ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, but is now a hot spot for violence, with arms readily available and state security forces struggling to assert their authority.

Security experts say the area around the city is host to a number of Islamist militant groups who oppose any Western presence in Muslim countries.

"There was an attack on a British embassy convoy this afternoon in Benghazi," an embassy spokeswoman said.

"All staff are accounted for. We are liaising closely with the Libyan authorities."

The spokeswoman declined to give further details, and it was not clear if anyone in the convoy had been injured.

Five days ago, an explosive device was dropped from a passing car outside the offices of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The blast that followed slightly damaged the gate in front of the building.

On May 22, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the city, blasting a small hole in the building but causing no casualties.

A month earlier in Benghazi, a bomb was thrown at a convoy carrying Ian Martin, the head of the United Nations mission in Libya. No one was hurt.
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