People stand near a police car that was destroyed in an explosion in front of a police station in Benghazi earlier this month. Four police officers have been killed in another attack in the Libyan city. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori
Four policemen in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were
killed when a police compound was attacked, a security
official said, in the latest violence to plague the cradle of
The attack is believed to be linked to the recent detention
of two men in connection with several assassinations of
security officials in the city, as the assault happened next
door to a police station where they were being held.
Unknown assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the
compound, which houses patrol cars, damaging an office and
killing one policeman, police spokesman Khaled Hidar said.
A gun battle then followed and three of the police
reinforcements who arrived at the scene were killed.
"It was a long battle. Three other policemen were severely
injured," Hidar said.
He said two men recently detained in connection with a series
of assassinations in the city, including that of Benghazi
police chief Faraj al-Deirsy last month, were being held in
the police station next door. Deirsy was killed in front of
his home last month.
"This happened as two people were detained recently ... in
connection with the series of assassinations in Benghazi,"
Hidar said, adding that Libya's new interior minister had
ordered police reinforcements to Benghazi.
In September, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other
Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in
Benghazi, the worst of a string of attacks on international
convoys and official buildings in the city.
Libya's government is struggling to contain former fighters
and militias who gained power during last year's uprising,
which started in Benghazi and went on to oust Muammar
On Saturday, clashes broke out in the former Gaddafi
stronghold of Bani Walid, and three members of the security
forces were killed, according to an official from the office
of the army's chief of staff. The violence began after
security forces tried to make an arrest in the town.
Forces aligned to the Defence Ministry captured Bani Walid on
Oct. 24 amid chaotic scenes that demonstrated the weakness of
the new government's hold over militiamen who owe it
allegiance but largely do as they please.