Benghazi still burning as car bomb kills six including TV host Mohammed Bougages

Published October 30th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
Libyan forces patrol in Benghazi  April 19, 2016. (AFP/File)
Libyan forces patrol in Benghazi April 19, 2016. (AFP/File)

The explosion occurred in the al-Kesh district of Benghazi late Saturday, killing TV host Mohammed Bougages, who was close to controversial General Khalifa Haftar.

Local officials said at least 10 people were also injured in the incident.

Some reports say the explosion was caused by a bomb that had been planted in the car. Even if confirmed, it would be hard to know whether it was targeted specifically against Bougages. He hosted a daily talk show aired on state TV, during which he voiced views supportive of Haftar; but it is not clear how much weight he carried and whether he could constitute enough of a threat to Haftar’s opponents for them to plan his assassination.

Haftar and a faction of loyalist army personnel have taken it upon themselves to fight extremist militants in Benghazi. In so doing, they have been defying the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.

The renegade general used to be an ally of Libya’s long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. He, however, joined the Libyan revolution against Gaddafi in 2011.

He has refused to profess allegiance to the internationally-recognized GNA in Tripoli.

Haftar and his forces have been fighting in Benghazi since 2014. They describe the operations as a "correction to the path of the revolution" and a "war on terrorism."

The rebel general claimed to have liberated Benghazi from militants earlier this year but violence still continues in the city.

The opponents of Haftar say he is essentially involved in a struggle for power.

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