By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 17 March 2014:
A car explosion in a military training facility in Benghazi has reportedly killed as many as . . .[restrict]11 people and injured several others. Five are said to be in a critical condition.
“It was a massive explosion”, a nearby shopkeeper told the Libya Herald.
It occurred after a graduation ceremony at the military technical academy, near the city’s Venezia Street, between Gwarsha and Hawari districts.
Seven of bodies were taken to Benghazi Medical Centre and four, reportedly, to Hawari hospital.
Initial reports that three car bombs were involved were not true, an official from the academy insisted. The first explosion set other cars on fire causing them to explode, he said. Those killed were students, he added, aged between 18 and 28.
Libyan news agency LANA said the vehicle that blew up was a Hyundai and that it contained a large amount of explosives.
The exact cause of the explosion is not yet clear. Several reports said it had been caused by a car bomb but the official claimed it was an accident caused by a student handling a grenade.
This is dismissed by others. “It was not an accident”, a leading Benghazi military official told this paper.
He also questioned the claim that only one car blow up and that it caused other to explode. He said that some of the other cars destroyed were not next to each other and that there was more than one car bomb timed to coincide with the graduation.
Benghazi hospitals have put out urgent requests for people to come and give blood. [/restrict]