By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 8 July 2014:
An explosion at a cigarette shop in Derna is the latest in . . .[restrict]a string of attacks against the town’s business community.
The explosion destroyed the small shop and started a fire which damaged some adjoining businesses. Cigarette shops have been frequently targeted by militant Islamists in Derna and Benghazi who believe smoking to be a sin.
Yesterday a car showroom was bombed. A Derna resident said the attack on the business had caused some structural damage to the dealership and destroyed several cars. “It was a big explosion”, he said, adding that no casualties had been reported as a result and no group had claimed responsibility.
On Thursday another commercial premises, a shop in Derna’s Jebaila district, was also subject to a bomb attack. The previous day local business leader Abdullah Mahmoud was kidnapped. Residents have reported that no one has claimed responsibility for the abduction and said no request for a ransom had been received by Mahmoud’s family.
In a separate incident, also on Wednesday, Mohamed Al-Manfi an airforce officer working at Matouba Airbase was also kidnapped.
To add to the town’s woes, yesterday at around 6:30 pm Operation Dignity, which has been running regular sorties over Derna in recent months, carried out airstrikes on the city’s Al-Hussein district, located on Derna’s seafront. No one was injured in the attack.
As to reports in recent days from various media sources that US forces had landed at Derna and grabbed a local Islamist leader, this had been refuted by a well-placed source in the town.
The last time US forces were seen in Derna was in 1805