Deadly car bomb strikes civilian area in eastern Libyan city of Bengahzi

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Officials have been giving conflicting casualty figure, but at least three people were killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi Monday when a car bomb exploded near a hospital in an area packed with civilians.

Death toll estimates ranged as high as 10 in the chaotic aftermath.

Benghazi was the birthplace of the revolution that led to the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But the city has suffered a series of assassinations and other attacks since, including the Sept. 11 assaults on the U.S. diplomatic mission that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The oil-rich North African nation is still largely dominated by militias, including fighters who battled Gadhafi’s forces during the 2011 civil war. Many attacks are blamed on infighting, but witnesses and analysts say Monday’s explosion stood out because it struck during the day in a crowded area, putting civilians at risk.

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