Vehicle bomb kills two United Nations staff outside mall in Libya's Benghazi

The UN-backed GNA has been fighting Khalifa Haftar's troops for several months mostly around Tripoli

The UN-backed GNA has been fighting Khalifa Haftar's troops for several months mostly around Tripoli

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released a statement condemning the vehicle bomb attack in front of a shopping mall in the Libyan city of Benghazi which has left three UN workers dead, three others injured and dozens of civilians wounded.

In Haftar-controlled Benghazi, a vehicle bombing killed three United Nations staff - a Libyan and a Fijian - as a United Nations convoy passed through a shopping area, security and medical officials said.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack "in the strongest terms" and called on the Libyan authorities "to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this attack".

Haftar launched an offensive to take Libya's capital in early April, but encountered stiff resistance, resulting in months of stalemate in southern Tripoli's outskirts.

Haftar's spokesman said the ceasefire was "out of respect for this occasion's place in our that Libyan citizens can celebrate this Eid in peace".

"Mitiga airport has been targeted by fire this morning, the first day of Eid al-Adha", the airport's management said in a statement on Facebook, referring to the three-day Muslim holiday that began on Sunday. The blast also wounded nine people, including a 3-year-old child and a United Nations staff member from Jamaica, the health officials said.

The blast came just months after the United Nations reopened its offices in Benghazi, which had been closed for security consideration, and less than a month after a auto bombing at the funeral of an ex-army commander killed at least four people and wounded more than 30 others. The July attack killed at least four people and wounded 33 others.

At least two people were killed when a auto bomb exploded in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday, according to local security sources. Thousands of African migrants captured by Libyan forces supported by the European Union are trapped in detention centers. They also resorted heavily to airstrikes and attacks by drones.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But it has faced stiff resistance from fighters aligned with the United Nations -recognized government, which is aided by Turkey and Qatar. Armed groups have proliferated, and the country has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty for a better life in Europe.

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