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Two killed as bomber targets checkpoint in eastern Libya

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Libyans check the aftermath of an explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi on January 24, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

A bomber has attacked a checkpoint in eastern Libya held by militiamen loyal to military commander General Khalifa Haftar, killing at least two people, including a civilian.

General Al-Mabruk Sahban, a senior security official, said the attacker also killed a fighter from Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) when the vehicle they were driving exploded at a roadblock 90 kilometers east of Sirte.

Earlier in the day, security services had discovered another car bomb in the troubled area.

It was not immediately clear what group was responsible for the Tuesday attack.

The attack comes a day after Haftar announced the start of an offensive to "liberate” the city of Derna, which is controlled by terrorist groups linked to al- Qaeda and a coalition of extremists. 

In March, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for two attacks against LNA checkpoints that killed at least 10 people.

Last week, the terrorist group claimed an attack in Tripoli against Libya's electoral commission that claimed the lives of at least 14 people.

Haftar, a general under former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, became a major figure in Libya’s politics after Gaddafi’s fall and death in 2011. He has consistently opposed a government in Tripoli, which is backed by the United Nations. The 75-year-old has been backed by countries to the east of Libya, including Egypt, while governments like Algeria and Tunisia back the internationally recognized government which dominates the western territories of the oil-rich North African country.

France and some Western governments who helped oust Gaddafi from power through a NATO military operation have also been supporting Haftar and his powerful military force while governments in the Persian Gulf region, including the United Arab Emirates, continue to provide him with funds and weapons.

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