(Beirut) – Unidentified armed groups detonated two car bombs in front of a mosque in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on January 23, 2018, killing at least 34 people and wounding over 90, Human Rights Watch said. According to spokespersons for the two main hospitals for emergency and trauma services in Benghazi, the majority of victims were civilians, with at least three young children among the dead.
“Planting bombs outside a civilian mosque, in particular when the timing is likely to inflict maximum casualties among civilians, is a war crime,” said Hanan Salah, senior Libya researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Civilians in Benghazi are unacceptably bearing the brunt of this conflict.”
The car bombs exploded within 15 to 30 minutes of each other after 8 p.m. on January 23, in front of the Baya’at al-Radwan mosque in the Salmani neighborhood of Benghazi, local hospital sources said. The first attack occurred just as worshippers were leaving after evening prayers known as “al-Isha,” killing three people and injuring six.