TRIPOLI - At least two people were killed when three car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan capital on Sunday, the first lethal attack of its kind since Muammar Gaddafi's fall last year, security sources said.
Ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scenes of the blasts and large numbers of police cordoned off the sites before starting to remove the charred vehicles.
The first bomb blew up near the interior ministry’s administrative offices in Tripoli but caused no casualties, the sources said. On arriving at the site of the explosion, police found another car bomb that had not blown up.
Minutes later, two car bombs exploded near the former headquarters of a women’s police academy, which the defence ministry has been using for interrogations and detentions, the sources said, k il ling two people, both civilians, and wounding two.
The buildings targeted by the bombers are in residential areas at the heart of the capital, Tripoli.
The blasts took place early in the morning as worshippers prepared for mass morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration that marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan.
Sporadic violence has remained a problem in Libya despite the peaceful transfer of power to the new government after elections in July, the first in decades following the overthrow last year of Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power.
The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that it was suspending its activities in Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city, and Misrata after one of its compounds in Misrata was attacked with grenades and rockets.
The fate of seven Iranian relief workers, official guests of the Libyan Red Crescent Association, remains unknown almost three weeks after they were kidnapped by gunmen in the heart of Benghazi.