Libya car bomb wounds one, damages office of Eni firm

AFP , Monday 31 Aug 2015

A car bomb exploded Monday in the Libyan capital, wounding one person and causing damage to the offices of an oil company co-owned by Italy's Eni, a security official said.

The target of the blast was not clear, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

But the car that exploded was parked metres (yards) away from the offices of Mellitah Oil and Gas, Al-Jumhurriya state bank and a post office.

Mellitah's ownership is split equally between the Tripoli government and Eni, which on Sunday announced the discovery of the "largest ever" offshore natural gas field off neighbouring Egypt.

"At least one person was wounded when a car parked in the Thahra area of central Tripoli exploded," the security official told AFP.

The area is also home to several embassies, notably the Saudi and Dutch missions.

The explosion also caused damage to residential buildings, destroying doors and leaving shards of glass scattered on the ground.

Members of the security forces, some of them masked, rushed to the scene along with firefighters and paramedics.

Libya has been riven in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

It has two rival governments and parliament and a several armed groups vying for control of its cities and oil wealth.

Last year a militia coalition known as Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) seized control of Tripoli after fierce fighting with rival factions, forcing the internationally recognised government and parliament to flee east.

A rival government and parliament were set up in Tripoli.

For the past year the country has been rocked by fighting between pro- and anti-government forces, and the chaos has allowed the Islamic State group to gain a foothold in the North African nation.

IS has claimed attacks in Tripoli, some targeting embassies.

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