By Maha Suliman.
Benghazi, 9 November 2014:
The bomb attack in Shahat near to where UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon . . .[restrict]was meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni “will not in any way have any impact on our work,” UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) spokesman Samir Ghattas has said.
In a statement sent to the Libya Herald Ghattas described how two large explosion shook the area in which the meeting took place. “We don’t know how close they were, possibly 100 metres or so,” he explained.
None of the UNSMIL delegation or the Libyan delegation was injured in the attack. “We immediately evacuated the room and after a brief pause headed to the airport,” Ghattas told this newspaper.
Who organised the bombing remains unclear. “We don’t know the motive but it will not prevent UNSMIL from continuing in its efforts to assist the Libyan people in their search for a political solution to the crisis,” Ghattas said. “We cannot say whether we were the target or not, but it will not in any way have any impact on our work and we will continue,” he added.
However, a senior security source form Shahat has confirmed for the second time that he believed the meeting between Thinni and Leon was the target. “It was meant by the enemies of the government and the military to show that the east is not safe,” he said.
The number of reported injuries from the blast has risen from five to ten, according to the security official. One of the wounded was reportedly a young girl of just ten years of age. All of those who sustained injuries are said to have been only lightly wounded.
Experts who surveyed the wreckage at the site of the explosion have said that the blast originated from one car which was loaded with explosives but then the initial detonation blew up two cars parked nearby.
The Shahat security official said the car bomb detonated in a car park in front of the town’s security directorate headquarters. The administrative building in which the UN and government delegations met is only a short distance behind, he said.
The security source explained that because of credible threats to the meeting it had been moved from its earlier location in Beida to Shahat which lies 15 kilometres away. For this reason, he reiterated, someone must have given specific details of the meeting to the bombers.
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