A car bomb explosion has killed at least seven people and wounded 20 others in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, local security and medical sources have said.

The bombing on early Friday morning took place behind the city’s largest hotel, Tibetsi, on a busy market street selling mostly Syrian produce.

A local security official told AFP news agency that the victims were civilians.

The city’s Al-Jalaa Hospital confirmed the attack on Jamal Abdelnasser Street, adding that it had received at least 20 wounded persons, local news outlet Libyan Express, reported.

Images circulating on social media showed charred cars, a blazing fire and many bystanders assessing the extent of the damage. Red ambulance cars were also at the scene of the commercial street.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this month, at least 11 people were reported dead after armed men, including two suicide bombers, attacked Libya’s electoral commission headquarters in the capital, Tripoli.

In January, a double car bombing in Benghazi killed at least 35 people and left more than 50 others wounded. Ahmed al-Fituri, chief of a special investigation unit attached to the general command of east Libyan security forces, was among the casualties.

Forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar took control of Benghazi in 2017, after a three-year campaign against rival armed groups.

The battles have left large swaths of the port city in ruins.

Libya has descended into a civil war with rival militias fighting for control of territories after longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels in 2011.

Source: Aljazeera