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Islamic State attack ‘kills 40’ in al-Qubbah Libya

Islamic State attack ‘kills 40’ in al-Qubbah Libya thumbnail

A bombing by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya has killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens in the eastern town of al-Qubbah.

Three bombs exploded, targeting a petrol station, a police station and the home of parliamentary speaker Agila Salah, a security source told BBC News.

According to an online statement, IS fighters said they struck in retaliation for Egyptian air strikes.

Egypt launched strikes after IS killed 21 Egyptian Christians it had abducted.

The al-Qubbah attack is one of the deadliest in Libya since the toppling of Col Muammar Gaddafi four years ago.

The country remains in a state of chaos with two governments vying for legitimacy and territory.

‘Revenge’

Medics at the scene of the bombings said the majority of casualties were at the petrol station, where there was a long queue of motorists.

Agila Salah was not at home at the time of the attack, they added. Speaking to Saudi-owned TV channel Al-Arabiya, he announced seven days of mourning for the bomb victims.

“I think this operation was revenge for what happened in Derna,” Mr Salah said.

On Monday, Egypt bombed targets in Derna, killing between 40 and 50 people, according to a Libyan air force commander.

The Derna link was confirmed by a statement released by the IS-affiliated group in Libya, which said the attacks targeted an “operations room” used by Libyan military chief General Khalifa Haftar.

“This is a message to anyone who is tempted to attack the soldiers of the caliphate [IS] or any Muslim,” the statement said.

Al-Qubbah lies on the road between Bayda, seat of the official Libyan government, and Derna, which is largely controlled by the Libyan affiliate of IS.

An Egyptian Army F-16 fighter jet prepares to take off to conduct raids on Islamic State militants in Libya - 16 February 2015Egyptian fighter jets took part in raids on IS positions in Libya earlier this week

The kidnapped Egyptian workers, all Coptic Christians, were seized in separate incidents in December and January from the coastal town of Sirte in eastern Libya, which is under the control of Islamist groups.

Islamic State described the Copts it killed as “crusaders”.

Libya has been wracked by unrest since the 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi. Since then numerous militia groups have battled for control and the country has two rival governments and parliaments.

The internationally recognised parliament is based in the eastern port of Tobruk, from which Mr Salah reportedly spoke to Al-Arabiya on Friday.

A rival parliament and government are based nearly 1,000km (620 miles) to the west in the capital, Tripoli.

To the east, the city of Benghazi – where the 2011 revolution began – is now largely in the hands of Islamist militants.

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Libya’s rival power bases

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10 Comments on "Islamic State attack ‘kills 40’ in al-Qubbah Libya"

  1. Plantagenet on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 12:14 pm 

    Its rather surprising that after six months of obama waging war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that suddenly ISIS pops up in Libya.

    Four years since obama’s last war in Libya created a power vacuum in that country, ISIS is in the house.

  2. BobInget on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 12:49 pm 

    Are you being sarcastic, HRH?

    Everyone needs to understand IS is like a brand, (name). These guys like to portray themselves as nation builders, not your old fashioned ‘hit and run’ type terrorist.

    IS wants everyone to thing they are all insane
    mass murderers. In stages two and three the plan seems to moderate.

    IS grand plan, financed by oil, take over the entire region, at least those countries with massive oil reserves like Libya.

    (I wrote this here months ago)

    Once Saudi Arabia collapses it won’t be moderate groups like the Muslim Brotherhood who decides who get what slice
    of the oil pie.

    When control of one former state is secure, IS will moderate it’s methods just enough to be able to hire foreign oil workers kept far from the general public.

    Generals, politicians almost always ‘fight the last war’ . Today we hear the US is training
    thousands of Iraqi (again) troops to invade Mosel (again) Oh yeah, invasion time, 5 AM
    April 23 ..

  3. msnfanboy on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 4:13 pm 

    Some may say it was a mistake to remove Gadhafi…

    And they would be right.

    Anybody and I remember nearly everybody predicted this outcome when it occurred.

    Why is our political leadership so blind, one would think after bashing your head against a brick wall multiple times one would stop.

    Hey lets get rid of the regional autocratic regime and democracy will at once take root.

    Unfortunately democracy get crowed out by the weeds (terrorists) that’s why before sewing the seeds of the next harvest you destroy the weeds.

    Failure to do so and bingo, the map above explains the rest.

  4. GregT on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 4:39 pm 

    I wonder what would have happened if the colonial terrorists hadn’t have won the war against the British Monarchy?

  5. Davy on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 4:42 pm 

    Mak, ISIS, is in the Philippines now. You best be careful. Those guys could care less if you hate America.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/20/isis-gaining-ground-globally-as-smaller-terror-linked-groups-pledge-allegiance/

  6. John Orr on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 6:00 pm 

    The main winners of this Middle East time frame has to surely be the car dealer selling all the pickups!!!…..as Henry Ford didn’t say…..any colour so long as it’s sandy brown….!

  7. Apneaman on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 6:08 pm 

    We Have Been Watching the Same Movie About America’s Wars for 75 Years
    Missed American Sniper? That’s okay—you’ve probably already seen it.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/198569/we-have-been-watching-same-movie-about-americas-wars-75-years

  8. Apneaman on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 6:13 pm 

    How they doing so far?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda#Strategy

  9. Makati1 on Fri, 20th Feb 2015 6:52 pm 

    And the M.I.C. stirred hornet’s nest in the ME is still going strong. Nothing new there. Another sign of the end.

  10. redpill on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 6:05 pm 

    Libya-Pop.~6 million
    Egypt-Pop. ~82 million

    Hmmmm……These ISIS types may be great at blowing up innocent people, but their math skills are lacking. Let’s see how long it takes for a “under new management” sign to be planted in eastern Libya if these heroes do a job in Egypt itself.

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