Car Bomb Kills 3 UN Staffers in Libya as Cease-Fire Deal Is Reached
By VOANews August 10, 2019
At least three U.N. staff members were killed Saturday when a car bomb exploded in Benghazi, Libya, a U.N. spokesman said.
The attack came as the warring sides in Libya reached a cease-fire agreement to end fighting in the capital, Tripoli, during the upcoming Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack in a statement released by his spokesman. The statement said three other U.N. staff members were among the injured.
The U.N. Security Council met Saturday afternoon to discuss the actions in Libya.
"The U.N. does not intend to evacuate from Libya," Bintou Keita, the assistant secretary-general for peace operations, told the council, which also condemned the attack.
The United Nations gave no more details of the car bombing.
Ghassan Salame, the U.N. special envoy for Libya, called the bombing a "cowardly attack."
"This attack will not discourage us, nor will it prevent us from carrying on with our duties to bring about peace, stability and prosperity to Libya and its people,'' he said in a statement.
The U.N. secretary-general's statement urged all parties "to respect the humanitarian truce" during the Muslim holiday, which starts Sunday, and to "return to the negotiating table to pursue the peaceful future the people of Libya deserve."
Libyan National Army (LNA) chief Khalifa Haftar agreed to the U.N.-proposed 48-hour cease-fire Saturday, his spokesman, Ahmad al-Mesmari, said at a news conference in Benghazi.
Libya's U.N.-supported government said earlier Saturday that it had accepted the proposed cease-fire for the holiday.
Militias allied with the government have been fighting since April against an LNA campaign to seize the capital.
The country, however, fell into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting, according to the World Health Organization. More than 120,000 others have been displaced.
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