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Islamic State militants claim attack on checkpoint in Tripoli

16 March 2015, 11:36

Tripoli - Militants loyal to Islamic State claimed an attack at a checkpoint in a suburb of the Libyan capital on Sunday, according to a statement on social media, days after a similar attack on a police station.

A second explosion took place in a suburb of the western city of Misrata, a resident said.

A bag of explosives went off at a checkpoint next to a Janzour security building, west of Tripoli, wounding five policemen, said Essam Nas, a security spokesman.

Islamic State militants published on social media a picture of a security building next to the checkpoint which they said was the location of an explosion.

Militants loyal to Islamic State, the group that controls much of Syria and Iraq, have been exploiting chaos in Libya where two governments allied to armed factions are vying for power four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

In a suburb of Misrata, located east of Tripoli, an explosion went off late on Sunday in front of a brigade camp, a resident said.

He said the blast appeared to have been triggered by a car bomb and killed one person but no more information was immediately available.

Also read: Security: EU to help Libya

Misrata, Libya's third-largest city, is the power base of a faction called Libya Dawn which seized Tripoli in August, forcing the internationally recognised government to the east.

Groups of Islamist militants, who have declared loyalty to Islamic State over the past six months, have claimed responsibility for several high-profile attacks in what appears to be an intensifying campaign.

They claimed responsibility for an attack on the Corinthia luxury hotel in Tripoli in January, which killed five foreigners and at least four Libyans, as well as a group of Egyptian Copts in the central city of Sirte, triggering air strikes by Egypt.

The site of Sunday's explosion in the Tripoli area is close to the Palm City compound, which used to be a favorite place of accommodation for expatriates until last summer when most left due to the deteriorating security situation.

- Reuters


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