Last updated: 16 January, 2013

Police officer killed in Libya’s Benghazi

A car bomb killed a police officer in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday, an official said, the latest violence to hit the cradle of the 2011 revolt that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

“A bomb was planted in the car of Sergeant Salah Miftah Wizry,” said the security official on condition of anonymity.

“The car exploded while he was coming home from a restaurant.” He had died before reaching the hospital, he added.

The night-time explosion shredded the base of the driver seat, leaving nothing but stuffing and crumpled metal inside the car, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

On Monday, two policemen were hurt when an improvised bomb hit their car.

The number of attacks targeting military and police officers, including ones who served the former regime, has increased in past weeks despite efforts by the new authorities to boost security in the Mediterranean city.

Benghazi has emerged as a hub for jihadist groups, including militants who killed US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the US consulate on September 11 last year.

Many diplomatic missions and international organisations like the United Nations have scaled down or ended operations there after envoys were targeted.

Italy temporarily closed its consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday and pulled its staff out of the country following a failed gun attack on the consul.