Four killed as car bomb targets funeral in Libya’s Benghazi

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Damaged cars are seen at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
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People gather at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
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The wreckage of a car is seen at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2019
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Four killed as car bomb targets funeral in Libya’s Benghazi

  • The funeral at Benghazi's Huwari cemetery was for Khalifa Mismari, the assistant commander of Libya's special forces under former leader Muammar Gaddafi
  • The special forces have become a key unit aligned with Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls eastern Libya

BENGHAZI: At least four people were killed and 33 wounded when a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander in the east Libyan city of Benghazi, a spokesman for the eastern administration’s interior ministry said.
The funeral at Benghazi's Huwari cemetery was for Khalifa Mismari, the assistant commander of Libya's special forces under former leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was toppled in 2011, a military source said.
A witness saw two burned out cars at the scene of the blast.
According to the military source, the current head of the special forces, Wanis Bukhamada, was attending the funeral but was unharmed.

Libyan National Army's spokesman General Ahmad Al-Mesmari accused the Prime Minister of Libya's Tripoli-based government Fayez Al-Sarraj of funding terrorism in Benghazi and said that he has become the political face of terrorist groups.

At a press conference that took place on Thursday, Al-Mesmari said the Libyan National Army does not differentiate between extremist organizations in Tripoli, Al-Qaeda, and Daesh, and that all Libyans should support the LNA's armed forces in every way.  
Since 2014, Libya has been divided between rival political and military factions based in Tripoli and the eastern part of the country.
The special forces have become a key unit aligned with Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls eastern Libya.
Since early April, Haftar has been waging an offensive to try to take the capital Tripoli, in the west of the country, though his campaign has stalled.


UK warns British ships to avoid Hormuz Strait

Updated 28 min 55 sec ago
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UK warns British ships to avoid Hormuz Strait

LONDON: London Saturday advised British ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz for “an interim period” following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of navigation,” a government spokeswoman said following an overnight meeting of the government’s COBRA emergencies committee to discuss the crisis.
“We have advised UK shipping to stay out of the area for an interim period.”
She noted comments by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier that “there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved.”
She added that there will be further meetings over the weekend and “we remain in close contact with our international partners.”
Hunt said on Saturday that he was worried that Iran had taken a “dangerous path” after it seized a British-flagged tanker on Friday.
“Yesterday’s action in Gulf shows worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilizing behavior after Gibraltar’s LEGAL detention of oil bound for Syria,” Hunt said on Twitter.
“As I said yesterday our reaction will be considered but robust. We have been trying to find a way to resolve Grace1 issue but WILL ensure the safety of our shipping.”
The British navy seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had seized the British-flagged Swedish-owned Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules.”
Iranian authorities alleged Saturday the ship had collided with a fishing boat. It said the tanker was now at anchor off the port of Bandar Abbas with all its crew aboard.