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US mission in Libya attacked

June 07, 2012

TRIPOLI, June 6: The US diplomatic mission in Libya’s main eastern city of Benghazi came under attack during the night but there were no casualties, embassy and security officials said on Wednesday.

“There was an attack late last night on the United States office in Benghazi,” a US embassy official said, adding that only the gate was damaged and no one was hurt.

The diplomat said a homemade bomb had been used in the attack on the office, set up after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qadhafi and kept open to support the democratic transition.

“The US deplores the attack on its diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” he said, adding that a request had been made to Libyan authorities to step up security around US facilities in the North African nation.

He said there was no claim of responsibility.

But a security official in Benghazi said the attack was claimed by the Prisoner Omar Abdelrahman Group, which had left a letter “threatening American interests” in Libya.

The same group — which is named after an Egyptian sentenced to life in prison in the United States — claimed a May 22 attack on the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the security official said.

The latest attack comes hot  on the heels of the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a master Al Qaeda propagandist and a Libyan national targeted by a US drone strike in Pakistan.

Deputy Interior Minister Unis al-Sharef said an explosive device detonated about 500 metres from the US premises at around 3am, adding the building itself was not hit.—AFP