Blast damages Libyan foreign ministry building in Benghazi
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 00:48
Sept. 11 - A blast hits the Libyan foreign ministry building in Benghazi on the first anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate in the country's second largest city. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: A powerful blast caused extensive damage to the Libyan foreign ministry building in the center of Benghazi, the country's second largest city, local officials said on Wednesday (September 11).
The blast occurred on the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. embassy building in Benghazi by hardline Islamists one year ago.
Officials said the car bomb exploded at dawn, badly damaging the ministry office and several other buildings in the center of Benghazi, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
A witness at the scene of the aftermath described the attack.
"The blast occurred at 6 o'clock in the morning. We were sitting here outside the foreign ministry and we heard the sound of an explosion, and suddenly everything went down, but thanks God, there were no casualties. God is protecting us. We will remain strong. The lives of the people who are being killed (in such attacks) are not wasted. I am also ready to die and thousands of other people are ready to die for the sake of our country. We are ready to protect it with our blood," said an unidentified Libyan citizen.
Two years after the revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is deeply split along regional and tribal lines, leaving the central government in Tripoli struggling to control the influence of rival militias and radical Islamists.
The central government is also trying to end strikes by oil workers and armed guards at oil installations that have paralyzed the North African state's crude production.
Four Americans including the U.S. envoy to Libya were killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi a year ago.
Washington initially said the assault had grown out of anti-Western protests. But it later turned out that Islamist militants were the perpetrators, marking the 11th anniversary of al Qaeda's September 11 attacks on the United States.
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