Almost 100 army dead and wounded in Benghazi vehicle bomb

By Libya Herald reporters.

The blast was near the Gwarsha gate retaken yesterday (Photo: social media)

The blast was near the Gwarsha gate retaken yesterday (Photo: social media)

Benghazi, 2 August 2016:

At least 23 soldiers died today and over 70 wounded injured when a suicide bomber drove a explosive-laden vehicle into an army position near the Gwarsha Gate.

The gate, which was only captured yesterday after bitter fighting, still bore a defaced picture of  Ansar Al-Sharia flag when the bomber struck.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council used social media to claim responsibility for the slaughter.  The BRSC has not been declared by the United Nations to be a terrorist organisation though it is fighting alongside IS and Ansar Al-Sharia which have both been so branded.

Army spokesman Fadel al-Hassi said that the bomber had targeted a gathering of Saiqa special forces troops. This unit had been cleared the immediate area yesterday.  The mystery is how the vehicle managed to penetrate an active frontline and reach such a concentration of soldiers. Reuters reported that the blast had been sufficiently powerful to reduce a three-storey building to rubble. A TV reporter is said to be among those injured.

A further puzzle is how the terrorists, supposedly surrounded for over two months in the Ganfouda and Gwarsha area, manage to be resupplied. There appears to be no shortage of ammunition nor the means to put together devastating vehicle bombs. The militants’ key supply port at Mreisa was captured in February.

The terrorists have requested on three occasions that their families be permitted to leave their surrounded Ganfouda/Gwarsha enclave but have refused to allow the army to search those who leave. The impression given a month ago was that those trapped by the army were suffering increasing privation.  Yet the militants are still capable of mounting effecting raids and counterattacks.  The Eid-morning assault on the army position on Teachers’ Beach to the south-west of Ganfouda demonstrated this.

Likewise terrorists in Suq Al-Hout and Sabri near the port, areas which have apparently been cut off for eight months continue to resist army attempts to recapture them.

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