(News Desk) Daesh Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for a terrorist car bombing in the northeastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya that killed nine people, including civilians.
According to reports, the explosion occurred on Thursday when an attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at a barricade manned by forces loyal to powerful Libyan military commander General Khalifa Haftar at the eastern exit of Ajdabiya.
Six other people were injured in the bombing which was the second such attack in less than a month.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Daesh-affiliated Amaq news agency said 14 troops of General Haftar had been killed or wounded.
A top officer in the local security forces, General Fawzi al-Mansouri, said civilians were among those killed and wounded in the attack, 840 kilometers from the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Daesh terrorist group also in October claimed responsibility for an attack on a military checkpoint that killed two Libyan soldiers and injured three others in Ajdabiya.
A witness said the assailants attacked a checkpoint run by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), located about 60 kilometers (37 miles), south of the city of Ajdabiya, at dawn Wednesday using about ten armed vehicles.
Libyan forces removed Daesh from its stronghold in the city of Sirte in December 2016, leaving the terrorist group in control of no urban territory in the North African country.
The terrorists reportedly have been trying to regroup from desert bases since losing Sirte, nearly 390 kilometers west of Ajdabiya.
The oil-rich North African country has faced crisis since a US-led military intervention resulted in the downfall of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Libya has been grappling with chaos and the emergence of numerous militant groups, including Daesh.
Haftar declared in December that the country’s internationally-recognized government based in Tripoli is no longer legitimate as its mandate has already expired.
The LNA commander said the Government of National Accord (GNA), which resulted out of an agreement in Morocco on December 17, 2015, and was backed by the United Nations, was no longer tenable to rule.
Haftar, who enjoys support from Egypt and certain Arab states of the Persian Gulf region, is believed to be vying for ultimate power in Libya although countries to the west of the North African country, including Algeria, see his rise as a threat.
In July, Haftar said his forces have “liberated” the city of Benghazi after pushing out rivaling militia from its eastern parts.
The announcement came shortly after the LNA was able to break the final pockets of resistance in Libya’s second city and overtake the seafront district of Sabri using heavy artillery fire.
Haftar’s forces have also been involved in the clashes with Daesh and other militant groups over controlling Libya’s key oil facilities.